Big Wheels and Racing- Mtbr.com
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  1. #1
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    Big Wheels and Racing

    I have reviewed multiple threads regarding the discussion of 26 vs 29 inch wheels. It appears to me that the majority of these topics are related more to riding than racing.

    I race a Cannondale 1FG in the Elite/Expert class in Michigan. My bike is stock, except for the wheels and tires. I am running Nokian NBX Lite tires with Stan's on Mavic Crossmax wheels.

    I am considering a 2006 GF Rig, but have concerns with the weight of the wheel/tube/tire setup.

    Does the advantage of the bigger wheels overcome the additional weight?

    Any feedback is appreciated, especially from other singlespeed racers that converted to 29 inch wheels.

  2. #2
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    Quote Originally Posted by 1 Gear Racing
    I have reviewed multiple threads regarding the discussion of 26 vs 29 inch wheels. It appears to me that the majority of these topics are related more to riding than racing.

    I race a Cannondale 1FG in the Elite/Expert class in Michigan. My bike is stock, except for the wheels and tires. I am running Nokian NBX Lite tires with Stan's on Mavic Crossmax wheels.

    I am considering a 2006 GF Rig, but have concerns with the weight of the wheel/tube/tire setup.

    Does the advantage of the bigger wheels overcome the additional weight?

    Any feedback is appreciated, especially from other singlespeed racers that converted to 29 inch wheels.
    I have not raced my single speed so take it with a grain of salt.....but I do plan to race later this month in a 24 hour race and "hopefully" will be able to compare lap times between my 26" single speed, 29" single speed, and geared FS bike.

    In terms of the bigger wheels.....though many 29er folks will disagree i am sure, I view it in opposite terms as to how you phrase the question, at least for acceleration certainly. The bigger wheels to me feel WAY more slugish when I need to do quick bursts of speed so as such, you would want lighter wheels on your 29er to compensate and keep in mind, I have American Classic rims/hubs on my 29er wheels at about 1600 grams and my 26" single speed wheels are heavier as well as the 26" bike as a whole and I much prefer the 26" wheeled single speed in regards to acceleration.

    I wont get into riding on the flats in terms of 26 vs 29 wheels since I dont feel like hearing all the theoretical mumbo jumbo about physics related to bigger/smaller tires that may or may not translate into a practical difference but in terms of accleration, I stand by my statement.
    Last edited by FoShizzle; 10-05-2005 at 02:37 PM.

  3. #3
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    People worry about weight way too much. There's less than a pound between the two wheelsizes, and otherwise just huge advantages for 29".
    People worry about the short bursts of power. Read : SHORT bursts of power. Yet, you lose out on 2, maybe 3% during that time. That SHORT time. Work it out to a laptimes, and you got zilch.

    For SS racing, 29" is all about short spins and looooong costs. About less braking, carrying more speed through turns and over obstacles, and exisitng these as such higher speeds that any difference in acceleration is more than compensated. Find a capable 29" rider and try to follow him through a couple of hard turns. The gap that opens, is that you being a bad rider, the inhumane skills that all 29" riders seem to magically share, or maybe something with the wheels that make then, well, FAST?

    My first SS race was om my 29" riding Surly I bought a few months before, my first SS also. I was 13th overall (big field) in a race where 7th would have been very optimistic, considering the competition I face everyweek, had I ridden a 26" geared hardtail as usual. The things that make SS slower, I just compensated by 29" being faster than 26". Not exactly the same difference for our courses and my riding style, but huge nevertheless.

    On violently winding singletracks, me rigid SS 29", others geared hardtails 26", I feel guilty for cheating, really.

    Call on here or the 29" forum in a new thread for a Rig demo ride near you. Bring beer. Prepare to be amazed. I've been riding older geared 29" Fishers and said Surly for quite some years now, but some recent bike swaps to a Rig really opened my eyes. It just doesn't feel like a $1000 bike. Sure, this bike was pimped, but so are all my own bikes. Rig is good.

    Important perhaps : I hear oftentimes about the 1FG being a very harsh ride. The new Fishers are actually lauded for being quite cushy for aluminum. That on top of the smoother rolling wheels, that is.

    Wow, what was in my OJ just now? Need to get some sleep...

    Good luck deciding, get that demo ride.

    J

  4. #4
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    very good points related to "racing".....especially on some course where coasting is indeed a major factor where I would take my 29er. also, on the wheel weights, rolling resistance of course should not be ignored so get some decent low rolling resistance tires on the 29er tires and you are set...I defer to Cloxxi and others on what the choice 29er racing tires are.

  5. #5
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    I'm not racing pro ranks, but I love racing my ss. Because you can't really hammer on the flats, you have to spin at some point, I find that I have a lot more power on the climbs. Given the reality that when you stop pedalling up hills you stop, you'd be amazed at how fast you can ride up the hills. Far and away, the best thing is flying by someone on a climb and watching there heads whip around to see what's going past them so fast!

    I will jump in on the wheels size. 29 singlespeed all the way. It does feel like cheating.

  6. #6
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    The first thing I told a buddy when I started riding a ss 29'er...."I feel like I'm cheating!"

    I wish everyone would just shut-up! about 29'ers. THEY SUCK! STAY AWAY!!

  7. #7
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    It's the rider, not the bike.
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  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by 1 Gear Racing
    I have reviewed multiple threads regarding the discussion of 26 vs 29 inch wheels. It appears to me that the majority of these topics are related more to riding than racing.

    I race a Cannondale 1FG in the Elite/Expert class in Michigan. My bike is stock, except for the wheels and tires. I am running Nokian NBX Lite tires with Stan's on Mavic Crossmax wheels.

    I am considering a 2006 GF Rig, but have concerns with the weight of the wheel/tube/tire setup.

    Does the advantage of the bigger wheels overcome the additional weight?

    Any feedback is appreciated, especially from other singlespeed racers that converted to 29 inch wheels.
    I think a 29" wheel is advantageous for almost all applications, but the stock Rig wheels/tires will feel like boat anchors compared to what you have now. I'd say go 29" but buy some light aftermarket wheels, Nanoraptor tires, and light Salsa 29" tubes.

    I still have a 26" SS in addition to my 29er, but when I ride it, it feels like driving a manual transmission car stuck in first gear. Fast/slow/fast/slow, can't get up to full speed. It feels restrictive.

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by riderx
    It's the rider, not the bike.
    no it's not.....dont you know anything, for example Trek makes the best road bikes since they are the winningest bike in the Tour as of late

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by FoShizzle
    no it's not.....dont you know anything, for example Trek makes the best road bikes since they are the winningest bike in the Tour as of late
    Damn, I forgot. I take back everything I said.
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  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by riderx
    Damn, I forgot. I take back everything I said.
    ......and therefore, a Trek 29er would certainly be the best bike money could buy

  12. #12
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    Caution;  Merge;  Workers Ahead!

    Quote Originally Posted by FoShizzle
    ......and therefore, a Trek 29er would certainly be the best bike money could buy
    Not for mountain bikes. That would be a Gary Fisher. He invented mountain bikes and the 29er. And I have it on good authority that he sprinkles some of his dead skin cells into every batch of paint giving each and every GF bike special powers.
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  13. #13
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    The Rig wheels are like boat anchors. I switched the stock wheel/tire combo with King ISO on VSC's/Maxxis Ignitors/26" Performance lunarlite tubes and the bike felt waaaaaaaay faster.

    Going with Nano's would probably be even better.

    Quote Originally Posted by Nat
    I think a 29" wheel is advantageous for almost all applications, but the stock Rig wheels/tires will feel like boat anchors compared to what you have now. I'd say go 29" but buy some light aftermarket wheels, Nanoraptor tires, and light Salsa 29" tubes.

    I still have a 26" SS in addition to my 29er, but when I ride it, it feels like driving a manual transmission car stuck in first gear. Fast/slow/fast/slow, can't get up to full speed. It feels restrictive.

  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by riderx
    I have it on good authority that he sprinkles some of his dead skin cells into every batch of paint
    Is that what the sparkles in my paint are?

  15. #15
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    Considering that the xc world's

    were won by Absalon and Dahle 26" bikes with v brakes, I'd say that you were right.
    Don't take it back!

    [QUOTE=riderx]Damn, I forgot. I take back everything I said.[/QUOTE

  16. #16
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    [QUOTE=steelbike]were won by Absalon and Dahle 26" bikes with v brakes, I'd say that you were right.
    Don't take it back!

    Quote Originally Posted by riderx
    Damn, I forgot. I take back everything I said.[/QUOTE
    good point......i will now sell the disc brakes on all my bikes to replace with v-brakes! thanks for th heads up....

  17. #17
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    well, the SS world championship was won on a 29er, a Rig I think. it was fully rigid too so you might as well get rid of the stock fork too.

  18. #18
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    How much for your discs?

    Or how about trading for a box of old cantilevers and v's? I'll throw in old cables too!

    Quote Originally Posted by FoShizzle
    good point......i will now sell the disc brakes on all my bikes to replace with v-brakes! thanks for th heads up....

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