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  1. #1
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    29er vs. 650B vs. 26 – a Crude Analysis

    Disclaimer – I have never ridden anything bigger than a 26” wheel on a Mt. Bike, so I don’t have the real world experience some of you have…

    For some time now I have been curious about all the excitement over larger Mt. Bike tires and their advantages. This is a quick and dirty analysis meant only to open the discussion on a more technical basis. I’m sure there are errors in my thinking…

    Claimed Advantages of larger wheels:
    ·Larger wheels roll over obstacles more easily due to decrease in approach angle
    ·Larger wheels are less prone to sinking in soft material such as sand and mud due to the larger contact patch causing lower ground pressure.
    ·The longer contact patch increases cornering and straight line traction
    ***************************
    "Larger wheels roll over obstacles more easily"
    Here are some screen shots of the impact angle of the three different wheels hitting 1”, 3” and 6” rock.




    There is less than a 2% improvement in approach angle going from a 26” wheel to a 29” wheel in all cases.
    I don't see any real advantage of 29er here...

    “Larger wheels are less prone to sinking in soft material & longer contact patch increases cornering and straight line traction”

    The part about sinking in sand I get but don’t understand the ‘longer contact patch’ advantage. The tire must support the same weight and what changes is the shape of ground contact with the larger the tire being an oval that is longer and narrower. Wouldn’t the surface area in contact with the gound be the same if you had the same brand tire, tire pressure and rider weight in each size? How does a different shape help with either cornering or straight line traction? Surface area is surface area… Why do some claim longer contact is better than wider?

    Flywheel Effect:
    The more mass you have at a greater radius, the greater flywheel effect. I’m doing this quickly but it looks like there is roughly 10% more mass at roughly 10% greater diameter using a 29er over a 26”. This will make the larger wheel harder to stop and turn. The larger wheel will have a slightly lower rotational speed for the same ground speed.


    The response of a rotating system to an applied torque (turning the front wheel).
    When the device swivels, and some roll is added, the wheel tends to pitch.



    Offhand, it seems like the larger wheel is at a disadvantage here....

  2. #2
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    Umm, yeah....I'm a grown adult that spends my free time riding a bicycle through the woods. It's fun. I could care less about the physics behind it. [Disclaimer, I own both a 26" and 29" bike.]

  3. #3
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    Test ride more bikes concentrate more on how each one feels different to you. Nothing else really matters. This forum, especially the 29er board, has been much more interesting now that most of these quasi-scientific justifications have slowly died off. However, to humor you:

    As for impact angle, all I can say is that the couple 29ers I've had all rolled better through the many rock gardens on my trails. No idea about stopwatch times or anything, but it feels smoother to me on a hardtail or rigid bike and I'm less hesitant to carry speed into a rock garden because of that.

    As for contact patch.. I have no idea because differences between tire designs and compounds seem to make a much more noticeable difference.

    As for the flywheel effect, I have no problem simply squeezing the brake lever a little bit harder and/or using a larger rotor. That part is easy to compensate for. Turning the wheel feels different but is easily compensated for and adjusted to through technique. A 26" bike with slack angles felt to me like it needed more technique adjustment than comparing between more similar XC 26ers and 29ers. The place I can say that I've found the flywheel effect more noticeable is in a positive way: the way the bike holds speed longer when coasting

  4. #4
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    "less than 2%",not significant? you don't really know, 2% might just make a pretty big difference.In fact i did ride a 29er and that rollover factor is pretty nice.I also feel that they're quite a bit less manuverable, you need that rollover because you will be running into a lot of things that you'd probabely weave around on your 26er. There is still no clear cut scientific test that shows you will be faster, everywhere, if you go with a 29er. There's a huge number of variables both in terrain and in rider.I think the 29er makes more and more of a difference the lower the riders skill level is. As an extreme example of this; a super skilled trials rider can hop,skip and roll, quickly through a boulder field on 20 inch wheels that would require 109er wheels for a less skilled rider to roll through. I'm also a strong believer that every advantage is balenced by a disadvantage, it might not be an immediate clear cut balence but it will present itself. I think durability is a factor, i don't get stuff for free, a year from now if my wheels are bent up and wobbly ,i don't just get a fresh set from the factory, i'm the one buying spokes and rims and lacing them over. That's not even that much of a problem,when they potatoe chip in the middle of the woods in some remote area, that's when they're really gonna suck. Frame durability is another factor,29er frames are more stretched out and at their limit,much more wuarentee issues, i believe that the higher price for 29ers, is not so much the extra material, and it's not lower production numbers,it most likely the higher amount of wuarentee replacements factored in. There you go my .02

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by herbn
    In fact i did ride a 29er and that rollover factor is pretty nice.I also feel that they're quite a bit less manuverable, you need that rollover because you will be running into a lot of things that you'd probabely weave around on your 26er
    That's part of the adjustment factor I was describing. I don't have any problems making high speed course corrections now that I'm used to riding 29ers, but I certainly had problems doing it well at first. Bikes that naturally turn in slower (whether it's because of geometry or wheel size) generally seem to require a little bit more conscious use of your body to lean in instead of just trying to make the bike turn using the bars.

    Quote Originally Posted by herbn
    Frame durability is another factor,29er frames are more stretched out and at their limit,much more wuarentee issues, i believe that the higher price for 29ers, is not so much the extra material, and it's not lower production numbers,it most likely the higher amount of wuarentee replacements factored in.
    There are certainly differences but nothing that puts modern design and materials at or close to their limits. Lots of people have been riding 29ers for quite a while now and this just hasn't been a problem.

  6. #6
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    Have you ever seen someone use a stop watch and GPS data to compare sector times of a 26er's to 29er's like they do in formula one racing? This data is readily available off of any Garmin GPS but I am guessing you haven't seen this data because the 29er's are "slower" in every sector. That is why 29er riders always talk about "feel" and not about having a quicker time or speed.

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by sopwithcamel
    Have you ever seen someone use a stop watch and GPS data to compare sector times of a 26er's to 29er's like they do in formula one racing? This data is readily available off of any Garmin GPS but I am guessing you haven't seen this data because the 29er's are "slower" in every sector. That is why 29er riders always talk about "feel" and not about having a quicker time or speed.
    Regardless of whether there is a speed difference, people here talk about feel and fun so much because we're almost all amateur riders out to have fun and feel good on the trail.

    If you want to get into quicker times and speed you should ask all the XC World Cup riders who have been switching to 29ers. If anyone has gone through the work it would definitely be those riders and their teams

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by dead_dog_canyon
    “Larger wheels are less prone to sinking in soft material & longer contact patch increases cornering and straight line traction”

    The part about sinking in sand I get but don’t understand the ‘longer contact patch’ advantage. The tire must support the same weight and what changes is the shape of ground contact with the larger the tire being an oval that is longer and narrower. Wouldn’t the surface area in contact with the gound be the same if you had the same brand tire, tire pressure and rider weight in each size? How does a different shape help with either cornering or straight line traction? Surface area is surface area… Why do some claim longer contact is better than wider?
    I don't understand your reasoning in contact patch. I understand that a bigger wheel will have a longer contact patch but why does that mean its narrower? If you compare a 26" 2.2 tire and use the same brand tire but in a 29" 2.2 why would the 26" have a wider contact patch? I would think the same brand tire as a 2.2 would be 2.2" wide in either a 26" or 29" version. Maybe I am missing something here.

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by brent878
    I don't understand your reasoning in contact patch. I understand that a bigger wheel will have a longer contact patch but why does that mean its narrower? If you compare a 26" 2.2 tire and use the same brand tire but in a 29" 2.2 why would the 26" have a wider contact patch? I would think the same brand tire as a 2.2 would be 2.2" wide in either a 26" or 29" version. Maybe I am missing something here.
    Given a similar tire, the same weight on the tire, and the same air pressure inside the tire the contact patch will have approximately the same total area. As a very rough approximation of real life: 180lbs of weight being supported by the tire / 30psi air pressure inside the tire = 6 square inches of the tire on the ground

    If the larger diameter 29" wheel gets a longer contact patch then physics means the contact patch must be smaller in width to keep the same area.

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by dead_dog_canyon
    There is less than a 2% improvement in approach angle going from a 26” wheel to a 29” wheel in all cases.
    You just need to find a different value to measure to give a more impressive result.

    Consider the height of a 6" rock to the distance from ground to axle.

    29 / 2 = 14.5, 6/14.5 = 41%
    26 / 2 = 13, 6/13 = 46%

    I guess that's still not terribly dramatic, but we're up to 5% now, which is better than 2%.

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by boomn
    Given a similar tire, the same weight on the tire, and the same air pressure inside the tire the contact patch will have approximately the same total area. As a very rough approximation of real life: 180lbs of weight being supported by the tire / 30psi air pressure inside the tire = 6 square inches of the tire on the ground

    If the larger diameter 29" wheel gets a longer contact patch then physics means the contact patch must be smaller in width to keep the same area.

    I guess I am still not seeing it. I don't see see how they will have the same total area just becuase the tires have the same weight and tire pressure. Maybe I am not guessing the 26" tire will deform as much to make a wider base. The way I see it in my head (not saying this is correct) is that the 29" will have a larger contact patch but the pressure to the ground will be less per a square inch. in your example the pressure to the ground would be the same per a square inch in the 26" and 29" with the only difference is the shape of the contact patch.

    In your example would they have the same contact patch area if both tires contact patches were measure with no weight on the bike? So the tire did not deform at all from the 180 pound rider or weight of bike?

  12. #12
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    Nice analysis. There's some Schwalbe sponsored research here which may be of interest if you haven't yet seen it... http://www.mtbonline.co.za/downloads...llustrated.pdf

    One thing you've probably got wrong is the flywheel effect. Rolling wheels don't act as flywheels, only free spinning wheels do that. Among other things this means that the distribution of mass in a (non slipping) wheel is immaterial, only the total mass matters.

  13. #13
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    You're measureing approach angle from the wrong side. the 29er approaches the 6" obstacle at 48.9 degrees, the 26er at 51.3. That's a difference of 5%. The bigger diameter also means the wheel will rise and fall over the obstacle more slowly. The bigger wheel can also reach 1.5" further forward to bridge the gap to the next bump, rather than falling all the way down and then coming all the way back up, slightly reducing up/down amplitude in high-frequency bumps. These combine to make the bike feel like it's floating over the obstacles rather than crashing into them.

    BB height is about the same, but axle height is 1.5" higher on a 29er, reducing the moment that can cause an endo when hitting a given size obstacle, so the 29er encounters less force when encountering the obstacle, and what force it does encounter matters less.

    Overall contact patch will be the same, but it'll be slightly longer. This means it can reach forward and back for traction, rather than slipping on every little rock that falls under a wider, shorter contact patch. This is especially notable on technical climbs.

    Are 29ers faster? No- I think they're mainly just easier to ride. So, if the alternative is pushing up that technical climb, then yes- the 29er will be faster. It's also less fatigue to get up and over all the little obstacles, and you're less likely to endo. Cornering traction is also slightly better. A good rider on a course in his skill level might be quicker on a 26er due to reduced weight. For everyone else, riding is faster than pushing or crashing.

    All the differences are pretty small- we're only talking about a wheel that's 12% bigger, but they all add up to a very noticable difference. I was skeptical of the advantages, too, until I tried one. My wife demoed one recently and was cleaning rock gardens she usually walks though. Very confidence inspiring. It's not like going from full-rigid to full-suspension, or like going from single speed to 30 speed, or a 35 pound bike to a 20 pound bike, but it's probably about the biggest difference you can find on a mountain bike besides those things.
    Last edited by @dam; 04-14-2011 at 03:26 PM.

  14. #14
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    I'm gonna say it!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    29'ers are a fad.

  15. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by arkon11
    I'm gonna say it!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    29'ers are a fad.
    was this post 262 or 263 for you? and what constitutes a 'fad'? people have been riding 29ers for quite a while now. do you think singlespeeding is a fad? i started riding one 22 years ago. what about suspension? you're funny Arkon11
    will you rep me?

  16. #16
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    I wonder if anyone is thinking that in time 29ers will become the standard. I doubt it.
    My Bike: '19 Giant Talon 2 29er
    My Blog: http://http://kona0197.wordpress.com/

  17. #17
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    29er feels really good and noticeably better than 26er on the fireroad descend. On the rougher trail it's harder to pick a winner. Even though 29er roll better we don't keep plowing thru bigger stuffs and it also handle slower than 26er. 650b feels like a 26er with fat tires without that much extra drag. I like the wheel format the most but the compatible components/frame are still limited.

  18. #18
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    Interesting breakdown of it, OP. Im suprised at how small the improvements are, and it makes me wonder if coming in with speed would be the great improvement of a larger tire.

    I come from a 4x4 background so I know:

    Bigger tires are better. They roll over stuff better and smoother.
    Bigger tires put more wear on stuff, are harder to slow and harder to turn.

    Im considering going to a 29er myself. I like the idea of having another 1.5" of ground clearance. And im a tall, strong rider, so i figure it would fit me better and i could handle the turning of a taller tire. However... I just love how my 26er rides, and im afraid of how much heavier wheels and tires will be... So its a double edged sword.


    Carry on silly bikers

  19. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by pyrotyro
    Interesting breakdown of it, OP. Im suprised at how small the improvements are, and it makes me wonder if coming in with speed would be the great improvement of a larger tire.

    I come from a 4x4 background so I know:

    Bigger tires are better. They roll over stuff better and smoother.
    Bigger tires put more wear on stuff, are harder to slow and harder to turn.

    Im considering going to a 29er myself. I like the idea of having another 1.5" of ground clearance. And im a tall, strong rider, so i figure it would fit me better and i could handle the turning of a taller tire. However... I just love how my 26er rides, and im afraid of how much heavier wheels and tires will be... So its a double edged sword.


    Carry on silly bikers
    29ers generally have the same ground to crank clearance. The frames are usually designed with different geometry so that the rider is the same height from the ground, so the rider is lower relative to the axles and more "between" the wheels instead of "over" them. Some people like that feeling, some don't

  20. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by boomn
    29ers generally have the same ground to crank clearance. The frames are usually designed with different geometry so that the rider is the same height from the ground, so the rider is lower relative to the axles and more "between" the wheels instead of "over" them. Some people like that feeling, some don't
    No way! That sounds silly... But makes sense to not raise the COG too high.

  21. #21
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    This is like that Jewish kid in a third grade class at Christmas time. They so wanted to be part of the fun, but tradition and their parents keep pushing towards the Dreidel and the Menorah.

    But Mom, they're having so much fun, why not??

    (No offense intended to any religions, the zealotry on both sides just makes the comparison apropos)

    And FWIW? I like the way my bike makes me "feel", so if it feels like something I like, I like it, what's so bad about that????
    This is a Pugs not some carbon wannabee pretzel wagon!!

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  22. #22
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    I have both a 26" FS Kona Kikapu Deluxe - 4" travel, and a Fuji Tahoe Pro 29er.

    I think there is an application for both, but I prefer the 29er. I rode the Kona two times last year. Once was because I broke some spokes on my 29er wheel set, and the 2nd time I just wanted to ride it before I stripped it down and sold everything.

    Now I was a skeptic on the 29er "fad", but held full judgement until I actually had the opportunity to ride one on the trails. A parking lot ride does not give you an accurate measurement of how a 29er performs.

    I'll probably never ride a 26" wheel bike again, unless I'm going into downhill racing. After that first real ride on the trails, I knew I had to have my own 29er.

  23. #23
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    Quote Originally Posted by sopwithcamel
    Have you ever seen someone use a stop watch and GPS data to compare sector times of a 26er's to 29er's like they do in formula one racing? This data is readily available off of any Garmin GPS but I am guessing you haven't seen this data because the 29er's are "slower" in every sector. That is why 29er riders always talk about "feel" and not about having a quicker time or speed.
    I don't have a GPS, but over very similar tracks with a similar percieved effort using bikes that are of a similar category (late model Stumpjumper FSR's), I record higher average speeds on the 29er (around 1 km/h higher). This may not be the most rigorous measurement of speeds but it's proof enough for me...

  24. #24
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    Quote Originally Posted by @dam
    You're measureing approach angle from the wrong side. the 29er approaches the 6" obstacle at 48.9 degrees, the 26er at 51.3. That's a difference of 5%. The bigger diameter also means the wheel will rise and fall over the obstacle more slowly. The bigger wheel can also reach 1.5" further forward to bridge the gap to the next bump, rather than falling all the way down and then coming all the way back up, slightly reducing up/down amplitude in high-frequency bumps. These combine to make the bike feel like it's floating over the obstacles rather than crashing into them.

    BB height is about the same, but axle height is 1.5" higher on a 29er, reducing the moment that can cause an endo when hitting a given size obstacle, so the 29er encounters less force when encountering the obstacle, and what force it does encounter matters less.

    Overall contact patch will be the same, but it'll be slightly longer. This means it can reach forward and back for traction, rather than slipping on every little rock that falls under a wider, shorter contact patch. This is especially notable on technical climbs.

    Are 29ers faster? No- I think they're mainly just easier to ride. So, if the alternative is pushing up that technical climb, then yes- the 29er will be faster. It's also less fatigue to get up and over all the little obstacles, and you're less likely to endo. Cornering traction is also slightly better. A good rider on a course in his skill level might be quicker on a 26er due to reduced weight. For everyone else, riding is faster than pushing or crashing.

    All the differences are pretty small- we're only talking about a wheel that's 12% bigger, but they all add up to a very noticable difference. I was skeptical of the advantages, too, until I tried one. My wife demoed one recently and was cleaning rock gardens she usually walks though. Very confidence inspiring. It's not like going from full-rigid to full-suspension, or like going from single speed to 30 speed, or a 35 pound bike to a 20 pound bike, but it's probably about the biggest difference you can find on a mountain bike besides those things.
    Nicely explained. One of the words I use to characterize 29er vs 26er is stability. The bigger wheel circumference and the BB drop make for a more forgiving, more easily controlled and more "flowy" ride. For many riders, myself included, these advantages more than compensate for the small losses in acceleration and manueverability.
    Use it, use it, use it while you still have it.

  25. #25
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    Thanks. I also forgot to mention something else

    A 0* approach angle (i.e. level ground) equals zero force pushing you back. A 90* approach angle is infinite- the harder you push, the harder it pushes back. Especially after 45 deg, the higher the obstacle you hit the closer to vertical (90 deg) the approach angle becomes. In other words, the force ramps up at an accelerating rate. Going from 0 to 45 will be a very small force increase compared to going from 45* to 90* or, likely, even 45* to 65* or 70* (I haven't thought about how to figure out the exact number, you'd have to play with vectors and get the horizontal component). So, while there may only be a 5% advantage in approach angle on the 6" obstacle, the difference in feel will be much greater- especially at angles over 45 deg where the steepness of impact starts to climb very sharply.

    Think of it like this: how often have you approached a rock or ledge, and had to do a slight wheelie to get up onto it smoothly...just an inch or two? Probably pretty often. Well, a 29er gives you a similar advantage, 100% of the time, without having to pull that little wheelie. All the wheelie does is decrease your approach angle. It unweights too I suppose, but all you have to do on a 29er is unweight and let the bars come up to achieve the same advantage as doing a little wheelie on a 26er. It takes a lot less energy on technical terrain.

    Also, bigger wheels deform less when they roll at any given pressure, so 29ers have slightly lower rolling resistance.
    Last edited by @dam; 04-15-2011 at 08:23 AM.

  26. #26
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    2013 Norco Article

    Read the 2013 Norco article, there is a video that explains all this, I know it has been a couple of years but I think that 650b is going to be great, even more if you are not very tall.

  27. #27
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    I agree with OP in a sense. Ok, I don't own a 29er however I have ridden it enough to see the difference. To me, the impact resistance is ground breaking better in the sense of smoothing out the bumps. It is slightly better but I don't think it is a better than suspension in smoothing out the bumps. However, where I think the 29er shines is on the uphills. You can really shift your weight forward and hammer on the pedals in the ups and not lose traction. That to me is the biggest benefit of 29ers. But 29ers are not for everyone, they don't fit smaller people very well. If you are taller person than it is much better fit.

  28. #28
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    My biggest confirmation of why a 29er makes a better commuter/trail bike for me comes at the lowest speeds when I get distracted during my ride, slow down to observe and inadvertently hit a large stump or in my case I hit a sidewalk curb and where my old Raleigh Talus used to almost come to a dead stop when I unintentionally tried to mount a curb, my rigid 29er slow down only about 50% but rolls right over that slab and instead of going "ohfuxorz!" And lurching forward I find myself now only going "oof. . . . eh, that wasn't so bad." and rolling about my business.

  29. #29
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    Oh. The lbs I went to in I'll had an interesting test track for people that had doubts about 29ers. Get a bunch of 2x4 pieces then a bunch of 1/2 pieces of wood. Space the pieces out every 12 inches for about 20 feet then ride over the 2x4's first. Then roll over the 1/2 inch pieces and you tell me which feels smoother and and which you feel mire confident riding over.

  30. #30
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    My analysis on the 29er vs 26" debate...WHO GIVES A FVCK!!!!!!!!!!!! Try each wheel size, pick the one that suits you, and f'ing ride and stop debating this sh!t to death.

  31. #31
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    My 29er is red, so it goes faster.

  32. #32
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    I don't know man, but I have GPS data on my own rides on 26'er vs. 29'er, and I am more often than not faster on the 29'er on the same segment of trail. Obviously there are a lot more variables than just wheel size, but such charts and physics are pointless. How does it feel to you when you ride it? Is it fun? Do you get exercise? Do you get to where you are going? Do you meet your own personal ride goals for the day? If the answer to all that is yes, then it is a great bike! Yes, with 29'ers there is definitely more traction and control on sand. Yes, the larger wheel is a bit more unwieldy to handle. But most of the time I am scratching my head trying to figure out which of my sweet bikes to ride. Life is good with such problems.

    My interest in the 29'er stems from longer rides. It is my hypothesis that you conserve more energy over the long haul pedaling larger wheels than smaller ones. I believe it's slower to accelerate, and in short distances you might not see any speed gain. But that's not the point for me, I'm not a short distance kind of gal.
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    Quote Originally Posted by shredchic View Post
    I don't know man, but I have GPS data on my own rides on 26'er vs. 29'er, and I am more often than not faster on the 29'er on the same segment of trail. Obviously there are a lot more variables than just wheel size, but such charts and physics are pointless. How does it feel to you when you ride it? Is it fun? Do you get exercise? Do you get to where you are going? Do you meet your own personal ride goals for the day? If the answer to all that is yes, then it is a great bike! Yes, with 29'ers there is definitely more traction and control on sand. Yes, the larger wheel is a bit more unwieldy to handle. But most of the time I am scratching my head trying to figure out which of my sweet bikes to ride. Life is good with such problems.
    That's a good summary of this whole wheel size vs. wheel size thing. A bike should be fun to ride, and there are a lot of great bikes around today.

    I think that wheel size is only one part of the puzzle of what makes a bike fun. I'm much more interested in what geometry the bike has (headangle, chainstay length, wheelbase, etc) what suspension design the bike has and general component choices than what size wheel the bike has.

    That said I'm riding 29ers (mainly a WFO9) at the moment because I see no reason not to for what I want to do. I haven't found them to be slow to accelerate or sluggish to corner, at least no more so than the 160 mm travel Enduro I had before... As far as 29ers arent good for jumping (which seems to get repeated a lot as another downside of the wheelsize) well, that's BS. Usually the guys saying that haven't been riding the right bikes and the same goes for the guys saying that 29ers are "just" (I hate that word) for XC riding...that depends on what XC riding means.

    Right, I'm going riding now.

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    I'm about to buy a new bike and liked my test rides on a 29er better than those on the 26ers. To me, the difference was about as big as the difference between an hardtail and a FS. I'm planning on doing mostly 24 hour and 100 mile races, but at 5'9" and 125 pounds, I'm concerned about lugging a heavier bike/wheels around for a long time. (I'm more of an "endure" person than a "power" rider.) From what I've been reading, most people feel that the benefits of getting over the bumps and ruts and etc. more easily and more comfortably seem to outweigh the drawback of a heavier bike, but probably the great majority of these commenters are heavier and more powerful than I am. For those of you who are small and/or light and have 29ers, have you been happy with your switch to 29's and would you recommend a 29er for a lighter person? Thanks.

  35. #35
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    About to buy my first 29,

    After riding 26's for years I'm about to drop 2 grand on a 29 HT. I'm in Michigan (mainly singletracks) so I dont really think I need FS (but I'm very open to opinions on this,,,hint hint).

    I did test ride a 29 FS and found that it seemed to climb better than my 26.

  36. #36
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    For hardtails, 29ers are the new standard. Not many companies making high-end 26er HTs anymore.
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  37. #37
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    Quote Originally Posted by lpranger467 View Post
    After riding 26's for years I'm about to drop 2 grand on a 29 HT. I'm in Michigan (mainly singletracks) so I dont really think I need FS (but I'm very open to opinions on this,,,hint hint).
    I'm in Michigan too. Most trails I've ridden in Michigan -- Hanson Hills, Shingle Mill, Fort Custer, Stoney Creek, Bay de Noc -- can be ridden pretty easily on a rigid. Front suspension will save a little wear and tear on your arms though, and maybe allow you to go faster through the bumpy stretches. Full suspension aids traction and allows you to stay seated and pedal where you might otherwise have to coast and absorb the bumps. Don't knock full-suspension, but the light weight of a nice hardtail is nice too.

    FWIW, and somewhat on topic for this thread, I rode both a 29er and a 26er -- both rigid -- at Hanson Hills last week. I do believe I was faster on the 29er, but did not time myself. I did better on the downhill turns using the 26er though, because the smaller bike is easier to move around on. But in the main, on that trail system, I like the 29er better.

  38. #38
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    At lower speeds bigger wheels ease rolling resistance and have better traction. At higher speeds, not much difference, suspension matters more, and smaller wheels have more surface feel.

    Most trail ride time is done at slower speeds.

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    Stmpjumper EVO

    I'm still very hesitant to buy a 29 (kinda thought I should see where this whole 27.5/650 thing is going). But I did put a deposit on a Specialized EVO HT, only has a single ring up front, real light..I'm thinking I cant go wrong either way

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    I agree with all those that say none of the tests matter unless YOU get on a 29er and decide if its for you.

    I had bought one to see what all the fuss was about, a cheap Fuji 4" travel frame. It wasnt even the right fit for me, I bought it a little smaller than I usually ride, cuz the next size up was a little big for me. At first I didnt see much of a difference over my 26er. But it was on the technical climbs I noticed I was making them most of the time, where as on my 26er I would make them maybe half the time. Same climbs, same conditions. And I never felt it beoing slower to turn like everyone says.

    I sold the Fuji and bought a Salsa, this thing is even better for my local conditions. I built it up to be a light XC bike-25 lbs. And I found myself bringing it to even the most technical places I ride, choosing that over my Yeti 575. I liked it much better except for any longer downhills, but we dont have many of those here in CT.

    Long story short (or is it too late for that now-lol), the Yeti is gone and I just bought a Kona Satori which is a longer travel 29er, 130mm rear and 140mm front. Fantastic bike that seems to do everything well. Yet I still ride the lighter Salsa more than half the time.

  41. #41
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    Thnks all

    I figure with everyone raving about 29's I cant go wrong,,I am going out on my 26 one more time today though while the 29 ride is still fresh in my mind

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    There- that proves it.
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails -equation-2.jpg  


  43. #43
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    Seems like the OP is just against 29ers. I love mine. Rolls for dayzzzz!

  44. #44
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    Soon to add a 29er to my fleet. Can't wait....
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    watch the norco 650b vid on here, its really good at explaining the differences between wheel sizes in simple terms. in short there are noticable differences.

  46. #46
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    Quote Originally Posted by paredes_fontanals View Post
    Read the 2013 Norco article, there is a video that explains all this, I know it has been a couple of years but I think that 650b is going to be great, even more if you are not very tall.
    bah, shoulda read the whole thread

  47. #47
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    I have a fukcing 26er and every day I feel like I have been castrated because all the big boys that knows their **** on the internet have 29ers. I must have a small penis too.

    My next bike will be muddafukkin 700c! wooooooooo!

    And the next one after that I will fukcing weld myself with my dikc if I have to and it will kick the last ones (700c) ass so much! And it will have 20 inch wheels!!!!!!! How can this insanity continue!!! The end is near. Pray everybody, pray!

    Wheel size don't mean jack zhit. Only your ability to adapt to the enviroment/situation does! You heard it first here!
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    Specialized sucks ass.

  48. #48
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    I am 6,5 been riding 26" for a long time, bought a 29" and will never ever look back.

    I must add I do mainly xcountry these days with the occasional jump and drop.

    Too many responsibilty's to go bombing down singletrack.

  49. #49
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    I sweat like a pig on my 26". I sweat like a pig on my 29'er. I corner like a sissy on my 26. I corner like a sissy on my 29. I get stuck in the mud and sweat some more on both bikes.

    My 29'er feels very different than my 26'er, but that might just be that one is rigid and the other has suspension, one is SS while the other is geared, the difference in geometry, the difference in weight or maybe it's just that my new bike is newer and more fun to ride at the moment..... then again I can't rule out that it's all down to the wheel size..

  50. #50
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    29er won the Olympic MTB XC Gold and a 650b came in second......
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    I get the passion, but...

    I have a tough time understanding why one wheel size has to be determined as the absolute best. In the past two years, I've owned a FS 26, a rigid 26,a hardtail 26, a hardtail 650b and a rigid 29er. The variables that determine "the best" are completely subjective, so what works for me probably wont work for 98% of riders. However, for me, after riding my rigid 29er, I will never go back to a 26 inch bike. But, once my fat body forces my thick head to realize I cant use a rigid bike as my everyday ride, I'll grab a 650b FS. Every bike has its place...ride 'em and enjoy 'em! Just my .02.

  52. #52
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    Quote Originally Posted by dead_dog_canyon View Post
    Disclaimer – I have never ridden anything bigger than a 26” wheel on a Mt. Bike, so I don’t have the real world experience some of you have…

    For some time now I have been curious about all the excitement over larger Mt. Bike tires and their advantages. This is a quick and dirty analysis meant only to open the discussion on a more technical basis. I’m sure there are errors in my thinking…

    Claimed Advantages of larger wheels:
    ·Larger wheels roll over obstacles more easily due to decrease in approach angle
    ·Larger wheels are less prone to sinking in soft material such as sand and mud due to the larger contact patch causing lower ground pressure.
    ·The longer contact patch increases cornering and straight line traction
    ***************************
    "Larger wheels roll over obstacles more easily"
    Here are some screen shots of the impact angle of the three different wheels hitting 1”, 3” and 6” rock.




    There is less than a 2% improvement in approach angle going from a 26” wheel to a 29” wheel in all cases.
    I don't see any real advantage of 29er here...

    ....
    I stop reading there, your analysis is wrongly simplified.
    If you want to do maths you should take into account and so many other equations
    of physics to conclude how this is expressed in percentage of more loss of energy in 26" in that particular case.

    with that simple logic, I can tell you that....

    70 deg of head tube angle in comparison with 68 deg differs only 2 degs.

    - "Oh!!? only 2... not big deal...thats under 3% ...I don't see any real advantage of having 68deg in descents or having 70 going up the trails."

    and its more complicated than that. For example having a little slacker HTA does not mean always that you ll be more comfortable in descents or vice versa...take part and a plenty of other factors of bike geometry.

    With your logic all the bikes are the same. But altering some factors a little and you make huge difference, some other less. If someone ride a 29er having at least a little experience of cycling he will immediately understand how much impact is having 29er than a 26er

    Other likes it other not, thats not the case.
    Last edited by ocean_29; 08-18-2012 at 02:06 PM.

  53. #53
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    Holly smokes, settle down guys –

    I agree with “who really cares” about wheel size, HT vs FS, etc., etc., etc. It is some of you who get overly impassioned about this crap.

    I can see Heavenly at Tahoe from my house. This time of year, I ride 1-3 times a week. I quite happily road my 84’ Fisher until late 2010. Not really caring about the latest and greatest stuff that was pedaling by me on the trail. Then…. my wife pulled a new Specialized HT out the car. I’m going what the ‘ WTH – I’m getting a new bike too.’

    This where the fun begins. What to buy? I start reading here and boy does the confusion start. Blah, blah, blah – my jimmy is bigger than yours – blah, blah, blah. I ended up with what I basically already knew, a V-Brake HT. And BTW - I’m very happy with it….

    One of the big reasons I bought the 26 V-Brake was the ability to swap parts with the 5 other bikes at my house. This was more important to me than the latest and greatest.

    The OP was written after a 25 mile loop where a couple of guys on 29ers kept leap frogging me and my boys. The ever time we met, they keep harping about how cool their 29” FS bikes were –> implying our 26” HTs w/ V-Brakes were crap. (Humm… We keep getting ahead of you… must be crap.)




    The more I hang out on this forum, the more I’m convinced there are some really immature / narrow minded people here….

    I wonder what some of you are like in person?

    Neg Rep from a couple of days ago (on a 4 / 5 month old post?):

    1) yep... you're an idiot!

    2) Started a thread, based on no experience bashing something. I HATE you arm chair engineers, do yourself a favour and ride the damn things to form a real opiion –

    #2 is the one I really like:
    no experience bashing something /// think you know it all” – learn to read, I said I don’t get what all the excitement is about, it was a CRUDE analysis and I’m sure there are errors in my thinking.

    I HATE you arm chair engineers” – You think! Sorry dude, I’m a ‘hands on’ engineer. Everybody that works at my company needs to (and does) work on any and everything. 3D Mechanical and Electrical CAD, running the CNC mill, soldering circuit brds, taking the trash out......

    Based on your comments, I think you don’t know a damn thing about how things get built in the real world. Herp a Derp – we just get out the welder and start making stuff without thinking about it first! –> grin. If you would pull your head out of your butt, you would realize every design is optimized for one thing. The 26 is better in certain conditions and the 29 is better in others. The 29er is very likely a superior design but to think your 29er is end all is foolish.

    Go ride your bike and enjoy what you got….

  54. #54
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    At least you learned a lesson, starting any thread here that has any thing to do with one wheel size vs another = neg rep. No matter what.

  55. #55
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    Quote Originally Posted by Nubster View Post
    At least you learned a lesson, starting any thread here that has any thing to do with one wheel size vs another = neg rep. No matter what.
    Bingo. Now I'm off to the DH forum to explain how physics says my rigid 29er is faster.
    I'm a mountain bike guide in southwest Utah

  56. #56
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    Quote Originally Posted by PowerGoat View Post
    have you been happy with your switch to 29's and would you recommend a 29er for a lighter person? Thanks.
    I am not as light as you, but I do know a lot of light guys riding 29'ers around. I recently got a Lurcher from On-One, did a pretty non-weight-weenie build and it's 24.5 lbs. - so it can easily get down to 22 lbs. 29'er doesn't always mean heavier. They are slow/harder to accelerate, which matters for about the first 60 seconds after which you are trucking along and passing everybody. Hardly a deal-breaker in a 24 hr/100 mile race. They are the tool of choice for many endurance racers - look at the tour divide - ok mostly fire road, but still...

    26" bikes are still awesome - they are better at different things. I love mine, and might get another one soon. There are different bikes built for different purposes and they are all a blast.
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  57. #57
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    Quote Originally Posted by chatman View Post
    29er won the Olympic MTB XC Gold and a 650b came in second......
    Yeah, and a woman won the Gold medal with a 26" HT. Your apparent point was ill informed.

    shredchic:
    "There are different bikes built for different purposes and they are all a blast."

    Yup. Ride what you like and find fun!

  58. #58
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    Good job!

    The OP was written after a 25 mile loop where a couple of guys on 29ers kept leap frogging me and my boys. The ever time we met, they keep harping about how cool their 29” FS bikes were –> implying our 26” HTs w/ V-Brakes were crap. (Humm… We keep getting ahead of you… must be crap.)
    The more I hang out on this forum, the more I’m convinced there are some really immature / narrow minded people here….

    I wonder what some of you are like in person?

    Neg Rep from a couple of days ago (on a 4 / 5 month old post?):

    1) yep... you're an idiot!

    2) Started a thread, based on no experience bashing something. I HATE you arm chair engineers, do yourself a favour and ride the damn things to form a real opiion –

    #2 is the one I really like:
    “no experience bashing something /// think you know it all” – learn to read, I said I don’t get what all the excitement is about, it was a CRUDE analysis and I’m sure there are errors in my thinking.

    “I HATE you arm chair engineers” – You think! Sorry dude, I’m a ‘hands on’ engineer. Everybody that works at my company needs to (and does) work on any and everything. 3D Mechanical and Electrical CAD, running the CNC mill, soldering circuit brds, taking the trash out......

    Based on your comments, I think you don’t know a damn thing about how things get built in the real world. Herp a Derp – we just get out the welder and start making stuff without thinking about it first! –> grin. If you would pull your head out of your butt, you would realize every design is optimized for one thing. The 26 is better in certain conditions and the 29 is better in others. The 29er is very likely a superior design but to think your 29er is end all is foolish.

    Go ride your bike and enjoy what you got….
    like

    I don't know or care about "rep" here but I like this.

  59. #59
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    Quote Originally Posted by dead_dog_canyon View Post
    Disclaimer – I have never ridden anything bigger than a 26” wheel on a Mt. Bike, so I don’t have the real world experience some of you have…

    For some time now I have been curious about all the excitement over larger Mt. Bike tires and their advantages. This is a quick and dirty analysis meant only to open the discussion on a more technical basis. I’m sure there are errors in my thinking…

    Claimed Advantages of larger wheels:
    ·Larger wheels roll over obstacles more easily due to decrease in approach angle
    ·Larger wheels are less prone to sinking in soft material such as sand and mud due to the larger contact patch causing lower ground pressure.
    ·The longer contact patch increases cornering and straight line traction
    ***************************
    "Larger wheels roll over obstacles more easily"
    Here are some screen shots of the impact angle of the three different wheels hitting 1”, 3” and 6” rock.




    There is less than a 2% improvement in approach angle going from a 26” wheel to a 29” wheel in all cases.
    I don't see any real advantage of 29er here...

    “Larger wheels are less prone to sinking in soft material & longer contact patch increases cornering and straight line traction”

    The part about sinking in sand I get but don’t understand the ‘longer contact patch’ advantage. The tire must support the same weight and what changes is the shape of ground contact with the larger the tire being an oval that is longer and narrower. Wouldn’t the surface area in contact with the gound be the same if you had the same brand tire, tire pressure and rider weight in each size? How does a different shape help with either cornering or straight line traction? Surface area is surface area… Why do some claim longer contact is better than wider?

    Flywheel Effect:
    The more mass you have at a greater radius, the greater flywheel effect. I’m doing this quickly but it looks like there is roughly 10% more mass at roughly 10% greater diameter using a 29er over a 26”. This will make the larger wheel harder to stop and turn. The larger wheel will have a slightly lower rotational speed for the same ground speed.


    The response of a rotating system to an applied torque (turning the front wheel).
    When the device swivels, and some roll is added, the wheel tends to pitch.



    Offhand, it seems like the larger wheel is at a disadvantage here....
    I was directed here from a thread on singletrackworld, just wanted to complement you on your analysis. Excellent post.

  60. #60
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    Quote Originally Posted by turbodog View Post
    I was directed here from a thread on singletrackworld, just wanted to complement you on your analysis. Excellent post.
    And thank's for dragging this nightmare of a thread out if the attic. Now we can argue wheel size again for the next 4 months.
    Quote Originally Posted by mileslong View Post
    I passionately remove rocks and corners and other stuff I find too hard to ride.

  61. #61
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    Quote Originally Posted by turbodog View Post
    I was directed here from a thread on singletrackworld, just wanted to stir up some more useless crap.
    Fixt
    It's such a fine line between idiocy and genius.

  62. #62
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    Quote Originally Posted by turbodog View Post
    I was directed here from a thread on singletrackworld, just wanted to complement you on your analysis. Excellent post.
    The troll thinks the post is excellent, because it's BS, which is trollboy's speciality.

    This article has a pretty good analysis of rollover, although other parts of the article have some problems. It calculates horizontal force (opposing forward motion) from a 6" tall obstacle is 4% worse for a 26" vs 27.5, and 6% better for 29" vs. 27.5, so 29er wheels will see almost 10% less momentum sucking force for each hit of this size compared to a 26er.

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  63. #63
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    Quote Originally Posted by turbodog View Post
    I was directed here from a thread on singletrackworld, just wanted to complement you on your analysis. Excellent post.
    Fess up ... it was the little voices in your head, the voices compelling you to dredge up old threads that espouse the turbotroll line wasn't it? You can admit it.

  64. #64
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    My first college degree was in math, and I even competed in national level college math competitions. And, there is nothing worse than killing the fun of the human aspect of feeling and joy with a bit of boring math and physics. I have one of each wheel size, but on totally different bikes, AM, DH, and XC. Each is what I wanted and like for its application. Hopefully I will not have to hear too much about how my choices just do not make sense from folks who do not own and ride the different sizes. Or, maybe I should be smart enough to click the back arrow faster next time!!!

  65. #65
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    Anyone with a background in math, science, statistics or anything involving data analysis should know that the way data is presented has a big impact on how that data is preceived by the lay person. The diagrams above are from a neutral party with no agenda, and are accurate. In comparison, look at Giant's 27.5 marketing material - it has been fully manipulated.

  66. #66
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    Quote Originally Posted by turbodog View Post
    Anyone with a background in math, science, statistics or anything involving data analysis should know that the way data is presented has a big impact on how that data is preceived by the lay person. The diagrams above are from a neutral party with no agenda, and are accurate. In comparison, look at Giant's 27.5 marketing material - it has been fully manipulated.
    You are so full of sh1t. Do the calcs yourself, if you can. The ops numbers are wrong. And the link above isn't from Giant. Giant has their own numbers which have been manipulated, by overestimating the benefit of 27.5, and underestimating the benefit of 29".
    Look at the real numbers, then imagine what better rollover feels like. Since you don't ride, that's the best you can do.

  67. #67
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    I was actually pretty happy to see this thread turn up - I was just looking for information like this. I took many years off of mtb'ing and just got back into the saddle about a month and a half ago. Back when I was riding a lot, 29'ers were still looking like a new fad. 29" and 27.5" have now come to the forefront. Since all of my old bikes are 26" I was looking for an analysis of the differences. This thread seems to pretty much state the same as the various articles I can find on the subject. That being, all three sizes have their place but in the end, it's still a matter of preference.

    Although I took years off, I still consider myself a fairly advanced rider. Technical riding, rock gardens, etc.. were never an issue. This being the case, I'd rather stick with 26" wheels. Unfortunately, I prefer 26" on smaller XC racing bikes, which appear to be harder and harder to come by. I like my bikes small and nimble even though I'm 6'2". From what I can tell, the trend looks like XC racing bikes are all moving to 29" while DH style bikes are staying at 26".

    Maybe if I end up needing to buy a new MTB I'll end up with 27'5". I'll definitely have some demo'ing to do. The good news for me is that my LBS has been able to acquire a few key replacement parts I needed for my old NRS Air - so I can hold off buying a new bike, for now.

  68. #68
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    Quote Originally Posted by D.Ambrose View Post
    I was actually pretty happy to see this thread turn up - I was just looking for information like this. I took many years off of mtb'ing and just got back into the saddle about a month and a half ago. Back when I was riding a lot, 29'ers were still looking like a new fad. 29" and 27.5" have now come to the forefront. Since all of my old bikes are 26" I was looking for an analysis of the differences. This thread seems to pretty much state the same as the various articles I can find on the subject. That being, all three sizes have their place but in the end, it's still a matter of preference.

    Although I took years off, I still consider myself a fairly advanced rider. Technical riding, rock gardens, etc.. were never an issue. This being the case, I'd rather stick with 26" wheels. Unfortunately, I prefer 26" on smaller XC racing bikes, which appear to be harder and harder to come by. I like my bikes small and nimble even though I'm 6'2". From what I can tell, the trend looks like XC racing bikes are all moving to 29" while DH style bikes are staying at 26".

    Maybe if I end up needing to buy a new MTB I'll end up with 27'5". I'll definitely have some demo'ing to do. The good news for me is that my LBS has been able to acquire a few key replacement parts I needed for my old NRS Air - so I can hold off buying a new bike, for now.
    Pay more attention to geometry than wheel size and it'll be much easier to find a bike you really like. Compared to your NRS, you're going to find newer bikes have lower BBs, slacker HTAs, and longer TTs. A 69 degree HTA is considered XC these days. Also, there are finally a reasonable number of 29ers available with sub-17" chainstays and unlike 10 years ago, fork manufacturers use different offsets for the 26", 27.5", and 29" versions. Chances are, you'll be able to find the kind of bike you enjoy in all three wheel sizes.
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    Quote Originally Posted by D.Ambrose View Post
    I was actually pretty happy to see this thread turn up - I was just looking for information like this. I took many years off of mtb'ing and just got back into the saddle about a month and a half ago. Back when I was riding a lot, 29'ers were still looking like a new fad. 29" and 27.5" have now come to the forefront. Since all of my old bikes are 26" I was looking for an analysis of the differences. This thread seems to pretty much state the same as the various articles I can find on the subject. That being, all three sizes have their place but in the end, it's still a matter of preference.

    Although I took years off, I still consider myself a fairly advanced rider. Technical riding, rock gardens, etc.. were never an issue. This being the case, I'd rather stick with 26" wheels. Unfortunately, I prefer 26" on smaller XC racing bikes, which appear to be harder and harder to come by. I like my bikes small and nimble even though I'm 6'2". From what I can tell, the trend looks like XC racing bikes are all moving to 29" while DH style bikes are staying at 26".

    Maybe if I end up needing to buy a new MTB I'll end up with 27'5". I'll definitely have some demo'ing to do. The good news for me is that my LBS has been able to acquire a few key replacement parts I needed for my old NRS Air - so I can hold off buying a new bike, for now.
    Most of the currently offered DH bikes are 650b these days...

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    Quote Originally Posted by D.Ambrose View Post
    I was actually pretty happy to see this thread turn up - I was just looking for information like this. I took many years off of mtb'ing and just got back into the saddle about a month and a half ago. Back when I was riding a lot, 29'ers were still looking like a new fad. 29" and 27.5" have now come to the forefront. Since all of my old bikes are 26" I was looking for an analysis of the differences. This thread seems to pretty much state the same as the various articles I can find on the subject. That being, all three sizes have their place but in the end, it's still a matter of preference.

    Although I took years off, I still consider myself a fairly advanced rider. Technical riding, rock gardens, etc.. were never an issue. This being the case, I'd rather stick with 26" wheels. Unfortunately, I prefer 26" on smaller XC racing bikes, which appear to be harder and harder to come by. I like my bikes small and nimble even though I'm 6'2". From what I can tell, the trend looks like XC racing bikes are all moving to 29" while DH style bikes are staying at 26".

    Maybe if I end up needing to buy a new MTB I'll end up with 27'5". I'll definitely have some demo'ing to do. The good news for me is that my LBS has been able to acquire a few key replacement parts I needed for my old NRS Air - so I can hold off buying a new bike, for now.
    It shouldn't be too hard to find a modern 26" hardtail frame, while they are rare, they are still available online and on ebay.

    Rollover and stablity are the only advantage of larger wheels, and depending on how you look at the data (such as in this thread, which is correct), it is really not as big of an advantage as people would have you believe. 26" wheels are much stiffer, stronger, lighter, and more manuverable.

    Consider this senario - you are coming at a 10" square edged curb (rock, log, etc) at 25 mph. Would you rather roll into it with a 29er, or bunnyhop up it with a 26" wheel bike?

    Sorry....it's a trick question, because if you roll into a 10" square edged obstacle with a "normal" 29er at 25mph, you will destroy the rim, tire, and yourself.

    I recommend 29er and 27.5 riders try rolling into a 6" square edged object at 25 mph to see what happens. Don't pull up.

    I'd be willing to bet most people never have owned a bike that could survive that. I did, about 15 years ago. It had 8" travel front and rear, a 10lb inverted fork with oil bath and coil springs, 2-ply tires and 500g tubes bought at a motorcycle shop. Bike was somewhere over 45lb. You could plow into anything 6" and under and it wouldn't miss a beat.

    Regardless, the biggest thing anyone will rollover on a normal bike without unweighting the front wheel is going to be about 2-3 inches. Last time I checked, where I ride has PLENTY of stuff over 3" tall that I need to ride over. I'll take the manuverable bike with the stiff strong wheels, please.

    If you like dirt roads, flow trails, small rocks, and loong walks on the beach, perhaps larger wheels are the best bet.

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    Quote Originally Posted by turbodog View Post
    It shouldn't be too hard to find a modern 26" hardtail frame, while they are rare, they are still available online and on ebay.

    Rollover and stablity are the only advantage of larger wheels, and depending on how you look at the data (such as in this thread, which is correct), it is really not as big of an advantage as people would have you believe. 26" wheels are much stiffer, stronger, lighter, and more manuverable.

    Consider this senario - you are coming at a 10" square edged curb (rock, log, etc) at 25 mph. Would you rather roll into it with a 29er, or bunnyhop up it with a 26" wheel bike?

    Sorry....it's a trick question, because if you roll into a 10" square edged obstacle with a "normal" 29er at 25mph, you will destroy the rim, tire, and yourself.

    I recommend 29er and 27.5 riders try rolling into a 6" square edged object at 25 mph to see what happens. Don't pull up.

    I'd be willing to bet most people never have owned a bike that could survive that. I did, about 15 years ago. It had 8" travel front and rear, a 10lb inverted fork with oil bath and coil springs, 2-ply tires and 500g tubes bought at a motorcycle shop. Bike was somewhere over 45lb. You could plow into anything 6" and under and it wouldn't miss a beat.

    Regardless, the biggest thing anyone will rollover on a normal bike without unweighting the front wheel is going to be about 2-3 inches. Last time I checked, where I ride has PLENTY of stuff over 3" tall that I need to ride over. I'll take the manuverable bike with the stiff strong wheels, please.

    If you like dirt roads, flow trails, small rocks, and loong walks on the beach, perhaps larger wheels are the best bet.
    You still having fun? No one gives a shit about your shitty attempts at trolling. Go away.

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    Here ya go to TB. Watch this and get back to us with your well thought out findings.

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    Quote Originally Posted by mileslong View Post
    I passionately remove rocks and corners and other stuff I find too hard to ride.

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    Quote Originally Posted by andy f View Post
    Pay more attention to geometry than wheel size and it'll be much easier to find a bike you really like. Compared to your NRS, you're going to find newer bikes have lower BBs, slacker HTAs, and longer TTs. A 69 degree HTA is considered XC these days. Also, there are finally a reasonable number of 29ers available with sub-17" chainstays and unlike 10 years ago, fork manufacturers use different offsets for the 26", 27.5", and 29" versions. Chances are, you'll be able to find the kind of bike you enjoy in all three wheel sizes.
    Thanks for the info, that's good to know.


    Quote Originally Posted by turbodog View Post
    It shouldn't be too hard to find a modern 26" hardtail frame, while they are rare, they are still available online and on ebay.<snip>
    Regardless, the biggest thing anyone will rollover on a normal bike without unweighting the front wheel is going to be about 2-3 inches. Last time I checked, where I ride has PLENTY of stuff over 3" tall that I need to ride over. I'll take the manuverable bike with the stiff strong wheels, please.<snip>
    I like to feel the trail - rocks and all. Figuring out how to get over/through it all is part of the fun (for me). Thanks for the input.

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    How long before turbotroll gets another thread locked from their inane babbling?

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    Quote Originally Posted by TheDwayyo View Post
    You still having fun? No one gives a shit about your shitty attempts at trolling. Go away.
    Hey now, let's try to keep it civilized here, this is a valid discussion even though you disagree with my points. You don't see me calling you an industry shill, even though your post history shows you work in a shop and clearly have an agenda.

    I used to work in a shop too! In 1995-2001. How come you just joined MTBR? Welcome to the party!

    26" are a fantastic and perfectly valid wheel size to ride with many advantages, even if the industry (and your shop) might not be properly supporting them at the moment. Don't worry, they'll be back soon.

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    Have you watched this yet? This pretty much sums up this thread.

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    Quote Originally Posted by mileslong View Post
    I passionately remove rocks and corners and other stuff I find too hard to ride.

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    Quote Originally Posted by turbodog View Post
    It shouldn't be too hard to find a modern 26" hardtail frame, while they are rare, they are still available online and on ebay.

    Rollover and stablity are the only advantage of larger wheels, and depending on how you look at the data (such as in this thread, which is correct), it is really not as big of an advantage as people would have you believe. 26" wheels are much stiffer, stronger, lighter, and more manuverable.

    Consider this senario - you are coming at a 10" square edged curb (rock, log, etc) at 25 mph. Would you rather roll into it with a 29er, or bunnyhop up it with a 26" wheel bike?

    Sorry....it's a trick question, because if you roll into a 10" square edged obstacle with a "normal" 29er at 25mph, you will destroy the rim, tire, and yourself.

    I recommend 29er and 27.5 riders try rolling into a 6" square edged object at 25 mph to see what happens. Don't pull up.


    I'd be willing to bet most people never have owned a bike that could survive that. I did, about 15 years ago. It had 8" travel front and rear, a 10lb inverted fork with oil bath and coil springs, 2-ply tires and 500g tubes bought at a motorcycle shop. Bike was somewhere over 45lb. You could plow into anything 6" and under and it wouldn't miss a beat.

    Regardless, the biggest thing anyone will rollover on a normal bike without unweighting the front wheel is going to be about 2-3 inches. Last time I checked, where I ride has PLENTY of stuff over 3" tall that I need to ride over. I'll take the manuverable bike with the stiff strong wheels, please.

    If you like dirt roads, flow trails, small rocks, and loong walks on the beach, perhaps larger wheels are the best bet.
    Yup......you created a trick question.

    You would do the same thing no matter what wheel size you were on. If not, you are a hack rider and would destroy the wheel regardless of size.
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    Quote Originally Posted by turbodog View Post
    Hey now, let's try to keep it civilized here, this is a valid discussion even though you disagree with my points. You don't see me calling you an industry shill, even though your post history shows you work in a shop and clearly have an agenda.

    I used to work in a shop too! In 1995-2001. How come you just joined MTBR? Welcome to the party!

    26" are a fantastic and perfectly valid wheel size to ride with many advantages, even if the industry (and your shop) might not be properly supporting them at the moment. Don't worry, they'll be back soon.
    I work part time in a shop, not as a career. I make no commission and I really don't care what bikes people buy, so long as they enjoy riding them.

    I don't disagree with your points, I just don't think you're making any. The wheel debate has been done to death and the only result worth discussing is simply that each person should decide what works best for them and use it.

    I just switched from 29 to 27.5 and despite the general consensus that 29 is faster I am smashing all of my old records on the new bike. Doesn't mean it's better, just means it's better for me.

    Your logic is argumentative and full of fallacies. I highly doubt you are actually interested in a civilized discussion.

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    Quote Originally Posted by mtnbikej View Post
    Yup......you created a trick question.

    You would do the same thing no matter what wheel size you were on. If not, you are a hack rider and would destroy the wheel regardless of size.
    Exactly. His logic implies that a rider cannot hop a 29 or 27.5, but can a 26... Now I do recognize that 29ers are a bit hesitant in the air, but they're certainly not incapable of hopping a log or something similar.

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    Quote Originally Posted by TheDwayyo View Post
    Exactly. His logic implies that a rider cannot hop a 29 or 27.5, but can a 26... Now I do recognize that 29ers are a bit hesitant in the air, but they're certainly not incapable of hopping a log or something similar.
    You don't say? It sounds more than 10% harder........

    Quote Originally Posted by SpecialK View Post
    The technique for bunny hopping a 29er, as stated before, is the same as for a 26er. However, getting a 29er wheel up is much harder than on a 26er. It has to do with wheel weight, wheel size and the natural position on the bike.

    For starters, try preloading the shock (if you have one) as you approach the obstacle. When you get to the point of lifting up the front tire, use the travel rebound to push you up. At this point, your weight should be back behind the seat so that you can take full advantage of the leverage. It takes a larger shift in body weight to get that bike wheel up in the air with a 29er but with practice, you can do it. It will never be as easy as on a 26er however.

    I am guessing that you have an XC style 29er bike (most of them are). If this is the case, you will probably be riding with your weight in the middle of the bike rather than biased toward the rear (like on a freeride or downhill bike). If this is the case, getting the front wheel up is a pain, however, there are a couple of setup tricks that might work. A shorter stem and wider bars will help. As will a riser bar rather than a flat bar. Keep in mind however that these new components will also effect the steering and your position on the bike.

    I have played with several stem lengths and bar heights and lengths and found that I prefer a shorter stem on my 29er and a very low, wide riser back. I am about 6' tall and ride my large Niner EMD with a 70mm (0 angle) stem and a 27.5" wide, 15mm rise bar. It seems a little counter intuitive for an XC bike but it works.

    Hope that helps.
    Quote Originally Posted by sean salach View Post
    it's slower on a 29er, due mainly to the greater amount of bb drop compared to a 26" wheeled bike, then by the longer stays, then by all the other, somewhat negligible factors. by greater amount of bb drop, i mean the bb is farther below the axle plane. if you look at all the bikes designed with bunnyhopping in mind, they actually have bb RISE, as in the bb is higher than the plane of the axles. if you look at 26" xc bikes, they mostly have 0.00" to 2.00" bb drop. 29" hardtails generally have 2.3" to 3.0" of bb drop. notable exceptions are the sinister simon bar and, oddly, the sette razzo.

    as far as your problem of not getting the back wheel off the ground, there could be two likely issues.

    1: you're pedalling the front wheel off the ground at the obstacle. this takes alot more skill and body english to get the back wheel off the ground that a normal bronco does.

    2: you're getting the front wheel off the ground by jerking up on the handlebars while hopping with your feet, but staying too far forward on the bike. the hopping with your feet comes after you get the bars to the correct height. watch some of the bunnyhop tutorials on youtube. they explain it waaay better than anyone here can type it.


    Bunny Hopping- Mtbr.com

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    OK, I don't see where it says that hopping a 10" obstacle on a 29er is impossible.

    You seem to diminish the desirable effects of larger wheels like rollover, meanwhile overstating the undesirable effects of larger wheels in other areas, like bunny hopping or wheel stiffness. You can't have it both ways... Unless you're just a troll.

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    Quote Originally Posted by TheDwayyo View Post
    OK, I don't see where it says that hopping a 10" obstacle on a 29er is impossible.

    You seem to diminish the desirable effects of larger wheels like rollover, meanwhile overstating the undesirable effects of larger wheels in other areas, like bunny hopping or wheel stiffness. You can't have it both ways... Unless you're just a troll.
    You seem to be following along pretty well. Actually, I'm taking a fair, pragmatic approach, because I have no agenda and don't want to sell anything.

    - We all just agreed that no one plows into square 6" objects, thus, a calculated 10% improvement in rollover is meaningless (not to mention false)

    - 3" is about the most you'll plow into without lifting on a normal trail bike. The difference at that size is about 5-6%. In the angle of attack. If you actually calculate the horizontal force vectors, the real difference is about 2.5-3%.

    - I don't consider 29er's holding momentum to be an advantage - that is traditionally considered a disadvantage in mountain biking. 26" manuver much better.

    - 26" wheels are a massive 63% stiffer than 29er wheels, all things being equal. Strength is also simillarly correleated.

    - 26" bunnyhop and accordingly are manuvered over larger objects with much greater ease.

    - 26" are lighter by at least 10%, unless you need a stiffer and stronger wheel, or want to spend $1k+ on carbon.

    So, when you actually look at all the differences in a balanced manner, you see that 29er's are trading away a pretty large number of things for only a minor practical difference in rollover.

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    Quote Originally Posted by TheDwayyo View Post
    OK, I don't see where it says that hopping a 10" obstacle on a 29er is impossible.
    Speaking of impossible, back in the day I could bunnyhop a 65lb brooklyn TMX about a foot off the ground, and a 45lb dh bike onto a 20"+ ledge without hitting the rear tire.

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    I don't even know what you are arguing. I've ridden all three wheel sizes and had a blast riding each. If I had my way I'd have a 29 XC bike, a 27.5 trail bike and a 26 DH bike... So what exactly are you trying to prove to me?

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    The troll is off his medication again...


    turbodog = Simpleton

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    Quote Originally Posted by TheDwayyo View Post
    I don't even know what you are arguing. I've ridden all three wheel sizes and had a blast riding each. If I had my way I'd have a 29 XC bike, a 27.5 trail bike and a 26 DH bike... So what exactly are you trying to prove to me?
    That the bike industry is blatantly lieing to you.

  87. #87
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    Quote Originally Posted by TheDwayyo View Post
    I don't even know what you are arguing. I've ridden all three wheel sizes and had a blast riding each. If I had my way I'd have a 29 XC bike, a 27.5 trail bike and a 26 DH bike... So what exactly are you trying to prove to me?
    You realize you are trying to have a conversation with a crazy person, right?

    He lies. He states the obvious. He ignores the obvious. He ignores facts. He repeats himself. He baits you. He insults. He goes around in circles with falsehoods until people get sick of him, then he starts all over again in a new thread, or digging up an old one like this one. He pretends he never heard all the stuff you could ever post about wheel size. He pretends no one ever heard all the BS he has already posted a hundred times. He is obsessed. He is bitter. He is angry. He can't accept reality.

    You called him a troll. You were right. You know what that means, right?

    turbodog = Simpleton

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    Some threads just need to stay in storage in the attic.
    Quote Originally Posted by mileslong View Post
    I passionately remove rocks and corners and other stuff I find too hard to ride.

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    Do you ever get that feeling like someone is out to get you? Sigh.

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    This thread will get closed thanks to Turbodog and he will get banned. Again.

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    Quote Originally Posted by smilinsteve View Post
    You realize you are trying to have a conversation with a crazy person, right?

    He lies. He states the obvious. He ignores the obvious. He ignores facts. He repeats himself. He baits you. He insults. He goes around in circles with falsehoods until people get sick of him, then he starts all over again in a new thread, or digging up an old one like this one. He pretends he never heard all the stuff you could ever post about wheel size. He pretends no one ever heard all the BS he has already posted a hundred times. He is obsessed. He is bitter. He is angry. He can't accept reality.

    You called him a troll. You were right. You know what that means, right?

    turbodog = Simpleton
    Ya, I still got sucked in. Oh well. I don't mind trying to counter some of his nonsense with some actual logic.

    Sounds like he's a resident troll here?

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    Quote Originally Posted by TheDwayyo View Post
    Ya, I still got sucked in. Oh well. I don't mind trying to counter some of his nonsense with some actual logic.

    Sounds like he's a resident troll here?
    Turbodog gently rubs himself off to sleep at night by reading fired-up retaliations to his delusional comments on MTBR. I personally make it a habit to find his account and read all of his posts for a good laugh every morning.

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    I am not a troll. I am a mountain biker with 23 years of experience who has worked in shops and raced (XC and DH). I have a strong opinon about wheel sizes and the state of the bike inustry, and would like to debate these issues with anyone who can carry on a lucid discussion.

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    Quote Originally Posted by jazzanova View Post
    This thread will get closed thanks to Turbodog and he will get banned. Again.
    One can only hope.

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    Quote Originally Posted by turbodog View Post
    I am not a troll. I am a mountain biker with 23 years of experience who has worked in shops and raced (XC and DH). I have a strong opinon about wheel sizes and the state of the bike inustry, and would like to debate these issues with anyone who can carry on a lucid discussion.
    Please bring forth some more of your strong opinions in a lucid manner. I'm sure most are on the edge of their seat, popcorn in hand just waiting for more ramblings.
    Quote Originally Posted by mileslong View Post
    I passionately remove rocks and corners and other stuff I find too hard to ride.

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    Quote Originally Posted by smilinsteve View Post
    You are so full of sh1t. Do the calcs yourself, if you can. The ops numbers are wrong. And the link above isn't from Giant. Giant has their own numbers which have been manipulated, by overestimating the benefit of 27.5, and underestimating the benefit of 29".
    Look at the real numbers, then imagine what better rollover feels like. Since you don't ride, that's the best you can do.
    Usually I do not like posts of this flavor, but this one is kind of funny. Imagine that....as I roll on my 26 or 27.5 or 29er.

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    Quote Originally Posted by turbodog View Post
    I am not a troll. I am a mountain biker with 23 years of experience who has worked in shops and raced (XC and DH). I have a strong opinon about wheel sizes and the state of the bike inustry, and would like to debate these issues with anyone who can carry on a lucid discussion.
    How can you have such strong opinions when you haven't ridden any other wheel sizes except 26? I'm still convinced that a 29er enthusiast banged your woman, thus all this butthurt

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    Quote Originally Posted by 8iking VIIking View Post
    How can you have such strong opinions when you haven't ridden any other wheel sizes except 26? I'm still convinced that a 29er enthusiast banged your woman, thus all this butthurt
    OK, curious mind wants to know how you figured out the butthurt without some direct involvement in the situation????

    On topic, it is hard to take anyone seriously who has not owned what is being discussed, and impossible if they have never tried it. One cannot expect to be taken seriously without any direct experience, except of course on the Internet, the home of knowledge and truth shared while in your underwear...

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    I do own a 29er, it's 12 speed, has really skinny tires, full rigid and drop bars. Don't do much mountain biking with it though.

    How many 29er riders have owned a full on DH race bike?

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    Quote Originally Posted by turbodog View Post
    I do own a 29er, it's 12 speed, has really skinny tires, full rigid and drop bars. Don't do much mountain biking with it though.

    How many 29er riders have owned a full on DH race bike?
    How does that relate to this discussion? Do you want to be taken seriously or just make noise?

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