NC riding: 4" 29er vs 5.5" 26er?- Mtbr.com
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  1. #1
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    NC riding: 4" 29er vs 5.5" 26er?

    It's bike decision time for me. I'm trying to decide between a short travel full suspension 29er (Pivot Mach 429) or a 5.5" travel 26er (Pivot Mach 5) with a 150mm fork. My riding is in Pisgah and some stuff in north Georgia. If anyone has experience on both of these types of bikes, I'd love to hear your opinion.

    I'm trying to find out which bike is more plush on the rooty and rocky (sometimes tight) descents common to NC and GA. I do small jumps, but nothing over 2-3 feet; mainly 2-4 hour XC rides.

    Thanks for any feedback!

  2. #2
    Big Mac
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    I think the only kind of 29er you can ride in Pisgah is a full rigid, single speed. At least that's what I've heard. I'd test 'em both. Everybody has there own opinions on this.

  3. #3
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    Have you tried a 29er already and do you like it?

    I don't think the 4" or 5.5" different is really all that big. The main difference would be do you like the big wheels already- if you do, it's a no-brainer. I would NOT spend the $ on a high end 29er unless I'd tried the wheesize format already- it's not for everybody, and that's from a a total 29" zealot (me).

  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mike Brown
    Have you tried a 29er already and do you like it?
    I've test ridden both bikes, but the test rides were not on long (much less rough) descents, just rolling terrain.

    I do like the 29 inch wheels. But most all-mountain type bikes are 26ers. That's either b/c they are better for that type of terrain, or b/c 29er technology hasn't progressed to 6" travel 29ers.

  5. #5
    When did you get here?!?!
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    Quote Originally Posted by ride4burritos
    or b/c 29er technology hasn't progressed to 6" travel 29ers.
    It's not an issue of technology, it's an issue of size/geometry etc. A 6" travel 26er already sits pretty high off the ground when the travel isn't activated. Think about adding another 1.5 inches to the static BB height... it would be like trying to get on a highchair.

    I'd take into consideration that (in Pisgah at least) you're going to be doing a lot of gravel road riding along with the singletrack. Which bike would be better all around? (hint: I, like MB, also ride a 29er hardtail)
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  6. #6
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    7 inches of travel & 5.5 inches

    Quote Originally Posted by ride4burritos
    I've test ridden both bikes, but the test rides were not on long (much less rough) descents, just rolling terrain.

    I do like the 29 inch wheels. But most all-mountain type bikes are 26ers. That's either b/c they are better for that type of terrain, or b/c 29er technology hasn't progressed to 6" travel 29ers.
    http://www.lenzsport.com/detail.php?prodID=15

    http://www.ninerbikes.com/fly.aspx?l...bikes&taxid=93

    Unless your stuck on a Pivot I think a 4 inch travel 29er feels like 5.5 inches of travel on a 26 inch bike..........26 inch wheels are for kids.

  7. #7
    rob
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    slakDawg
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    I've ridden all types of bikes in Pisgah over the years, starting with a 26er POS hardtail with canti brakes and crappy 1.9 tires. As of the last 4 or so years, I'm a 100% 29er convert and choose hardtail or FS depending on my mood. For PMBAR, I went with the HT because the FS (Turner Sultan) had a flat rear tire. Last year, I went with the Sultan (my partner both of these years was on a fully rigid, SS, 29er). In the end, you need to go with what feels best for you.

  8. #8
    ohhman
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    Demo's!

    Swing on by The Hub and Backcountry Outdoors. We have both Mach 429 and Mach 5 Demos for you to try out.

    Shoot us a call with any questions. 828-884-8670


    Quote Originally Posted by ride4burritos
    It's bike decision time for me. I'm trying to decide between a short travel full suspension 29er (Pivot Mach 429) or a 5.5" travel 26er (Pivot Mach 5) with a 150mm fork. My riding is in Pisgah and some stuff in north Georgia. If anyone has experience on both of these types of bikes, I'd love to hear your opinion.

    I'm trying to find out which bike is more plush on the rooty and rocky (sometimes tight) descents common to NC and GA. I do small jumps, but nothing over 2-3 feet; mainly 2-4 hour XC rides.

    Thanks for any feedback!

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by pisgahproductions
    It's not an issue of technology, it's an issue of size/geometry etc. A 6" travel 26er already sits pretty high off the ground when the travel isn't activated. Think about adding another 1.5 inches to the static BB height... it would be like trying to get on a highchair.

    I'd take into consideration that (in Pisgah at least) you're going to be doing a lot of gravel road riding along with the singletrack. Which bike would be better all around? (hint: I, like MB, also ride a 29er hardtail)
    Eric,
    Are you meaning the BB height on a 29er is 1.5 inches higher? Just curious if I am reading that right.

    Trek Session BB height (6 inch travel)= 13.9 inches
    Pivot 429 BB height(4 inch travel 29er)= 12.8 inches

  10. #10
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    Upset A Sad day

    Quote Originally Posted by salmansp
    Swing on by The Hub and Backcountry Outdoors. We have both Mach 429 and Mach 5 Demos for you to try out.

    Shoot us a call with any questions. 828-884-8670
    I came by Monday and found a note on the door: Closed 5-17 Moving and growing is painful sometimes.

  11. #11
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    I like long travel hardtails for Pisgah riding, but it really comes down to what you like the best. These are two of my favorite frames and worth checking out. I have the TransAM and love it, but Sinster makes the best hardtail bikes around. It's just getting your hands on a Sinister can be a bit hard.

    http://www.transitionbikes.com/Bikes_TransAM.cfm
    http://www.sinisterbikes.com/ridge.php

  12. #12
    Jamin, Applesause, No?
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    It really depends on your style of riding. I found that a 29er is not as agile as a 26er. the 29er just wouldnt respond the way it needed to for my more aggressive riding style. The 29er does not jump nearly as well as the 26er. This is after testing a Pivot 429 vs Mach 5. IMHO.

  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by Senor StrongBad
    It really depends on your style of riding. I found that a 29er is not as agile as a 26er. the 29er just wouldnt respond the way it needed to for my more aggressive riding style. The 29er does not jump nearly as well as the 26er. This is after testing a Pivot 429 vs Mach 5. IMHO.
    That was a helpful post and is the way I'm leaning. I like a bike that is agile and plush, which is what I found the Mach 5 to be. Riding trails like Laurel Mountain would be a blast on a Mach 5, I would imagine.

  14. #14
    pronounced may-duh
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    I ride a 5.75" travel 26er. I've done a few demos on the 29ers. Hardtails and FS bikes. Mostly Fishers.

    I think there is a big difference between a 4" travel bike and a 5-6" bike. Regardless of wheel size the 5-6" bike is way more plush. 4" bike are sag less and are firmer especially on the small hits.

    The wheel size is a whole different animal. The bigger wheels roll over rough areas way better. They also weigh more. life is full of compromise.

    Fisher has a longer travel 29er. The thing is a tank and is made for serious AM trails. But it climbs like a tank.

  15. #15
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    I think the only kind of 29er you can ride in Pisgah is a full rigid, single speed

    agreed

  16. #16
    Some Assembly Required
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    Long travel hard tails.....hmmmm
    "Why are you willing to take so much & leave others in need...just because you can?"

  17. #17
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    I have ridden both an intense 5.5(26") and a hardtail 29er all over pisgah and have recently been riding a tallboy everywhere I can, though not yet in Pisgah. One reason I got the tallboy was to enjoy the benefits of both the 5.5 and the 29er. It will be my first choice for most rides this year.

    When bombing straight down, think Pilot, farlow, black mtn, I would still give the edge to the 5.5. Obviously on fireroads I would give the edge to the hardtail 29er. But on most everything else, I would choose the tallboy. I can't imagine that you could move up Laurel or along squirrel more efficiently than with the combo of a good full susp design and big wheels eating up the roots and rocks. So if just riding for the grins and thrills of the downhill, or if that is the part of your ride that you want to prioritize, 5.5. Just riding for the fastest possible time in a 4-8hr race, hardtail 29er. But for a great all-arounder in Pisgah, 4" 29er.

    Of course, outside Pisgah and similar environs is a whole other story. Tight twisty xc racing might still call for a 4" 26er, though perhaps the hardtail 29er is just as good there. And also, shocks and susp designs are so efficient these days that you won't really sacrifice much regardless of what you choose. It's just a question of how you weight the importance or enjoyment of all the different aspects of any given ride.

  18. #18
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    I'm pretty determined to make the next step into a 29er rig. Money's tight, so, I'm looking at entry level with a good frame and lesser components. My plan is to strip my Klein down, since it has better components, clean the frame and hang it on a wall in honor of ten years of great service. I have one question to anyone that can answer this: Is there any difference in the components on a 29" versus a 26"? I mean like the deraileurs and brakes and such? Main thing is, if they are the correct set-up, I will just move them over to the 29er as the lesser parts on it break or wear out.

  19. #19
    pronounced may-duh
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    Quote Originally Posted by dkknight74
    I'm pretty determined to make the next step into a 29er rig. Money's tight, so, I'm looking at entry level with a good frame and lesser components. My plan is to strip my Klein down, since it has better components, clean the frame and hang it on a wall in honor of ten years of great service. I have one question to anyone that can answer this: Is there any difference in the components on a 29" versus a 26"? I mean like the deraileurs and brakes and such? Main thing is, if they are the correct set-up, I will just move them over to the 29er as the lesser parts on it break or wear out.
    The difference is in the 3 most expensive parts: The frame, fork and wheels.

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