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Thread: 26 or 29?

  1. #1
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    26 or 29?

    Hey guys! My birthday is coming up & im thinking of getting a singlespeeder...rigid. I have 2 26" FS bikes that i really love, an XC & an AM rig. Im very curious about 29'rs but everytime i see one, i cant get over the size. Im only 5'8 on a good day...

    My question is...should i go 26" or 29"? Im choosing between the Surly 1x1 or Karate Monkey. Im going full rigid. My intentions are to build the simplest bike i can for the least amount of money...but, still buying nice stuff. Do i make sense? Anyway, it would be my 1st SS & if ever, my 1st 29'r. I'll be buying from my LBS & ordering online is not an option.

    Oh, i'll be using it to train, on road & some moderate trails.

    Build suggestion? Any advice would be greatly appreciated.

  2. #2
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    Between those bikes, my vote is for the Monkey.

  3. #3
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    I'll second the KM. It's a nice riding frame/fork combo. If it's your first SS, I would suggest going with cassette hubs/wheels, so that you can easily switch back to gears if you decide it's not for you. Other than that, people generally like wider bars and often bar ends on SS bikes, and bells are pretty much mandatory.

  4. #4
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    I've got a 1x1, so that gets my vote!

    I use 26x1.75 slicks for commuting and enjoy the way the bike behaves (having also tried various 29ers). Also, you can probably swap wheels and tyres and forks from your other 26" FS bikes onto the 1x1 if the fancy takes you or fate requires it.

  5. #5
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    26er!

  6. #6
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    monkey with some fast rolling high volumn tires
    wherever you go, there you are

  7. #7
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    The 1x1 for sure. You're gonna feel even smaller if you get a 29er. I'm 5'8 as well
    Specialized HardRock SS converted
    Kona CoilAir: FOR SALE http://classifieds.mtbr.com/showprod...?product=48519

  8. #8
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    Im leaning towards the 1x1 with fat knobbies. I have nothing against 29'ers right now...im sure i'll get over the size issue, its just that im worried i might like it very much & start hating my 26'ers or vice versa. Im thinking i should stick with what im used to, in my case, 26'ers, & just go with that.

    fwiw, my thoughts on building a SS...to have something really simple, reliable, indestructible (?), for training, for commuting, escape from technology...these are just a few reasons why i've been toying with the idea for more than half a year now.

    Thanks guys! Keep em coming!

  9. #9
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    Well, I think you're right in one respect. Since I bought my 29er Unit I've sold my 26" Stumpy FSR, tore down my On One 456, and only ride my old school 26" when my Unit isn't available (not very often). I have yet to feel seller's remorse.

    Why u may ask?? Simple, 29ers are AWESOME!! I feel like a circus freak everytime I get on a 26er now. Oh, and I'm no tall guy. 5' 5" if I spike my mullet up a little. Good luck with you decision.

  10. #10
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    I know a guy shorter than 5'8" who has been riding a monkey for a long time and loves it. For a ss big wheels just make sense, especially if going with a rigid setup.

  11. #11
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    Or you can always put 650b wheels on the 1x1 and enjoy more stability and traction and not lose too much quickness.

  12. #12
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    I'm a fan of the 29. I ride a moncog flight ss as well as a geared 26. I think 29 is great for rigid as well as ss, but I could see 26 being cheaper since there are tons of used 26 inch wheels out there.

  13. #13
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    26er
    Roscoe's Chicken 'n Waffles

  14. #14
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    29er! i'm 5'8" just got a 29er a few weeks ago, I LOVE it. riding ss rigid as well. perfect combo.

  15. #15
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    Just bumping up my thread...still can't decide between a 26" or 29" SS bike. Hope i could get more input from you SS guys.

    By the way, i fitted a medium KM in an LBS & my nads are resting on the top-tube. Would that be ok or should i go for small frame? With the 1x1, i think i'm a medium.

  16. #16
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    29er

    SS rigid?? Gotta go with 29er. More comfortable and momentum. Good luck

  17. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by nordstern1
    Just bumping up my thread...still can't decide between a 26" or 29" SS bike. Hope i could get more input from you SS guys.

    By the way, i fitted a medium KM in an LBS & my nads are resting on the top-tube. Would that be ok or should i go for small frame? With the 1x1, i think i'm a medium.

    I'm 5'11" and I ride an 18" KM.

    The Monkey is a pretty tall bike (not a ton of standover) yet has a pretty short top tube and can be difficult to fit. Go by effective top tube length though, and ignore the standover -- how often do you find yourself unclipping both feet and standing flatfooted over the toptube on the trail? Standover clearance on mtbs is a little overrated IMO.

  18. #18
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    Tricycle -> BMX -> 24" -> 26" -> 29" (current)

    See the natural progression? Just evolution in practice.

  19. #19
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    I'd say get the 29er, just because you have 2 26" bikes already. Of course, I have a 650b'ed monocog, which I like better than my KM (which I sold), but if I had two bikes, I'd certainly have a 29er for variety.

    I agree standover is a little overrated- if it is a high tt you're just gonna look a lot more awkward when you suddenly have to get a foot down, especially on steeper slopes.

    The KM fork is pretty harsh. Keep in mind that you'll have figure out how to ride rigid after having suspension. It might take a bit of time.

  20. #20
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    1x1, it fits 26, 650B and 29. Or go 69er or some other variation of mixed wheel setup.

  21. #21
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    Quote Originally Posted by p nut
    Tricycle -> BMX -> 24" -> 26" -> 29" (current)

    See the natural progression? Just evolution in practice.
    people will look back on 29ers and say "what was i thinking!" just like acid wash jeans, mullets, and biopace.

  22. #22
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    I owned a 18" karate monkey, and really liked it for commuting and monster trucking.

    I switched everything over to a 20" 1x1 when they were on sale for $260. I don't regret it at all. I have a 29er wheelset, and a 26" wheelset. It's really versatile and fun to ride.

    Honestly, you really can't go wrong with either.

    Im about 6' 1" if that matters.

  23. #23
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    Quote Originally Posted by ISuckAtRiding
    people will look back on 29ers and say "what was i thinking!" just like acid wash jeans, mullets, and biopace.
    Sometimes evolution is not a smooth ride--there will be some bumps along the way (See: shaft drives, auto-shifters, and those stem shock thingies).

    29ers seem to smooth out those bumps, though.

    Though I admit that after building up my wife's 16" Inbred, it was a lot of fun going on test runs around the neighborhood (though it was a bit small). Forgot the mad bunny hop skills I had.

  24. #24
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    I vote for a 1X1 with some 650b wheels. I have a ss 29er which I like, but I have seen shorter people on smaller 29er bikes and they just look like kids riding around on big bikes. Not a knock on those shorter than 6 ft, but man I just don't get riding 15" and 17" frames with 29er wheels.
    I've got a friend who rides a 26er Redline Monocog with largish 26x2.25 tires on there and he loves it. He came off a 29er KM too.
    Yes, I do have a 29er. And yes, I still ride my 26er

  25. #25
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    +26er. I am the same height as the op (5'8"ish) and the two 29ers I have ridden (Gary Fisher Hi-Fi & Niner Air Nine) both felt a bit like monster bikes. The only real advantage I can attest to is traction (bigger footprint), but you have got to feel good on the bike and I did not. I ride a 26" Soul Cycles Hooligan and love it!
    I no longer deserve a signature.

  26. #26
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    5'9" riding a Vassago Jabberwocky ... fully rigid. I would highly recommend this bike. I love it. It is not a flickable geometry, but it is very stable and adequately maneuverable, and I find it very fast on the downhills.

    Vassago aside ... definitely 29r for fully rigid.

  27. #27
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    BIGGER is better. just got my custom and rode it for the first time on saturday and was blown away. i am already thinking about selling all my 26ers. oh and GEARS? We don't need no stinking gears.

  28. #28
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    29ers - simultaneously heavier, weaker and less manoeuvrable. Exactly what you look for in a bike. What's not to love?
    As an added bonus you'll have much less confusion over incidentals like tyres and forks.

  29. #29
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    Go with the 29er. I just got my second one and am really enjoying it. To all the people claiming 29ers are not for shorter people, I'm 5'6" and don't feel like I'm riding a "monster bike" at all. As a matter of fact, I think my GT Peace 9r is at least as manueverable as my Santa Cruz Blur. I also have a GF Cobia that is quite manueverable as well.

    I have a Surly 1X1 and that is a really fun ride. I haven't ridden a KM, but if it's anything like the 1X1, it should be a really fun bike. For my money, SS and 29er go together like peas and carrots.

    A few more bikes to consider are:
    Raleigh XXIX (steel frame good handling rigid"
    Redline Monocog Flight (steel frame suspension corrected rigid)
    On One Inbred 29er (steel frame suspension corrected available as frame only or complete bike)
    Vassago Jabberwocky (steel frame not available as a complete bike)

    Many more that I haven't mentioned.
    "There are those who would say there's something pathological about the need to ride, and they're probably on to something. I'd wager though that most of the society-approved compulsions leave deeper scars in the psyche than a need to go and ride a bicycle on a mountain." Cam McRea

  30. #30
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    Hey guys! Thanks for all the replies! After thinking about all your advices, this is what i ended up with...



    Sorry it took me awhile to post. I finished this project just last week & i was so excited, i had to ride it 1st. I'm a believer! No, no...no Kool-Aid experiences here, i'm just happy about the build & it's a fun bike!

    I'll post more pics in the SS rides & 29'er section...

  31. #31
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    my vote is for 26"

    Quote Originally Posted by ISuckAtRiding
    people will look back on 29ers and say "what was i thinking!" just like acid wash jeans, mullets, and biopace.
    what the hell you got against mullets?

  32. #32
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    Ride & Smile

  33. #33
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    Quote Originally Posted by veloreality
    my vote is for 26"


    what the hell you got against mullets?
    well, yours is feathered and will go good with my a-team van i guess.

  34. #34
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    Quote Originally Posted by ISuckAtRiding
    well, yours is feathered and will go good with my a-team van i guess.
    damn right it is

  35. #35
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    Quote Originally Posted by veloreality
    damn right it is
    For the love of god, put a shirt on, son.

    You are the reason why i cant find Aqua Net in this town when i need to put my grips on.

    (and yes folks, that is really him)

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