New to SS: 26" or 29"?- Mtbr.com
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  1. #1
    SingleTrackSal
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    New to SS: 26" or 29"?

    OK, after an admittedly very cursory glance at the SS & 29 forums, and a more lengthy review of the mtbr SS FAQ page, I pose the following question to you all: from the perspective of SS'ing, does it seem to make more sense to run a 6'er or a 9'er, or perhaps a 96'er?

    I know that many SS's out there are 29, rigid at that, and I've not really heard it discussed if those riders notice any issues in trying to spin the heavier hoops with only one gear.

    I've been riding a 29'er geared hardtail for 'bout a year now and really love almost all aspects of the larger hoops; however, I'd be lying if I said I didn't notice the slight decrease in my ability to sprint and accelerate on the bike, which seem like very crucial elements to a single speed ride. I live out west, with very hilly and mountainous terrain as part of the usual mix of riding conditions, so being able to ride a SS out here, it seems to me that the 26'er would make more sense. But, perhaps I'm way off in that assumption, hence why I'm hear seeking your sage advice! What do you all think?

    Cheers,
    Sal

  2. #2
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    I've ridden all three wheel configurations. My current bike has two 26" wheels, simply because that turned out to be the optimal set-up for the frame. Before that I was mostly on a bike with two 29" wheels.

    I think the difference in wheel weight is over emphasized and often over-simplified. Comparing apples to apples, a bigger wheel is going to weigh more. But in my own case, the 26" rim/tire combo is about the same weight as the 29" combo I was on. The 26" has wider rims and tires, so I can run lower pressure and roll a little more smoothly. The 29er had narrower rims and tires which required slightly higher pressure, but the wheel size rolled over bumps more smoothly. I couldn't tell you which is "better", just that both are great riding bikes.

    Its trendy to run fat rims and 2.3" tires on 29ers now that that stuff is finally available. But it isn't necessary. Doesn't the original logic behind larger wheels mean that you can get away with a narrower tire, and thus narrower rim, and thus a reasonable wheel weight? (Sure you can also run the big rims and tires if the weight doesn't bother you and/or the terrain justifies it.)

    I don't consider sprinting to be a mainstay of my singlespeed riding. Maintaining momentum is much more important, and that is where, especially on a full rigid bike, the larger wheel holds its own, weight penalty notwithstanding. The only time I even imagine that I can feel the extra weight is on slow, techincal climbs where I am coming to a near complete stop between revs. But even then the larger wheels lower propensity to get hung up on a rock more than makes up for any weight increase (again, if there even is any).

    I think that 29ers make better rigid singlespeeds. However, you could go either way. I'd base it more on whether you are buying a brand new bike, have something on hand to convert, or have found a good deal on something used.

  3. #3
    conjoinicorned
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    I think that 29ers make better rigid singlespeeds.
    absolutely! i think 29ers make superior singlespeeds in general. IMO the momentum saving of the big wheels is a natural fit with SS.
    what would rainbow unicorn do?

  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by SingleTrackSal
    OK, after an admittedly very cursory glance at the SS & 29 forums, and a more lengthy review of the mtbr SS FAQ page, I pose the following question to you all: from the perspective of SS'ing, does it seem to make more sense to run a 6'er or a 9'er, or perhaps a 96'er?
    Run whatever you like. I personally think 29" wheels are the equivalent of playing softball instead of baseball, or playing basketball on an eight foot high rim. Some probably think the same about suspension forks and fatter than average tires, so it's all a matter of perspective.

  5. #5
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    Is there any way you could ride one of each? That might make the decision easier for you.

    I know most shops don't have multiple singlespeeds in different wheel sizes just laying around waiting to be ridden, but maybe there is someone in your area, maybe even off this forum who would let you give each a whirl.

  6. #6
    meh... whatever
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    Quote Originally Posted by tvrbob86
    I personally think 29" wheels are the equivalent of playing softball instead of baseball, or playing basketball on an eight foot high rim.
    are you saying people ride 29ers cuz they cant hang with the physical demands of riding a 26er???

    so the 29er pilots are the kids on the short bus???
    "Knowledge is good." ~ Emil Faber

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by SingleTrackSal
    ***paraphrases sal... "get a 26er or 29er?"***
    Cheers,
    Sal
    get one of each!!!

    however, if that isnt an option, try out a monocog 29er. theyre stupid cheap, stupid strong, have a great geometry, and if you like it so much you wanna get a really nice frame and build it up you have something decent to ride in the mean time. then when you get your high end frame built you have a mud bike, commuter, spare bike, guest bike, etc. or you can sell it on ebay or on here and get some cash back. of course some people get them as a "starter 29er" and end up just riding it and upgrading it. either way you wont go wrong.
    Last edited by monogod; 03-27-2007 at 12:46 PM.
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  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by monogod
    get one of each!!!

    however, if that isnt an option, try out a monocog 29er. theyre stupid cheap, stupid strong, have a great geometry, and if you like it so much you wanna get a really nice frame and build it up you have something decent to ride in the mean time. then when you get your high end frame built you have a mud bike, commuter, spare bike, guest bike, etc. or you can sell it on ebay or on here and get some cash back. of course some people get them as a "starter 29er" and end up just riding it and upgrading it. either way you wont go wrong.
    Great advice. Bought the mc flight 29. Never rode ridgid before. Except a few rides on some local trails on my cross bike. One ride on the flight and I knew i found the ride I was looking for. Also terrain plays a big part in your selection. I find that the big wheels are the goods for technical climbing and the ss made me a better rider. Having to keep up the momentum and flow more. As far as sprinting goes. I think gearing is the ticket there. I mean finding you perfect ratio. For all around riding in your area. I currently run the stock 20 on the back. After riding this weekend and doing alot of road miles. I need to drop down to the 19. And take it from there. As the "engine" gets better you need to re-gear sometimes. You cannot go wrong with the monocog. And if it is good for you that bike is so easy to upgrade.
    Good Luck
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  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by monogod
    are you saying people ride 29ers cuz they cant hang with the physical demands of riding a 26er???
    Not at all. I'm saying they choose not to, not that they can't.

    Quote Originally Posted by monogod
    so the 29er pilots are the kids on the short bus???
    You said that, not me, but I won't argue with it. I think long bandwagon might be a more appropriate metaphor than short bus, though.

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by tvrbob86
    Not at all. I'm saying they choose not to, not that they can't.

    You said that, not me, but I won't argue with it. I think long bandwagon might be a more appropriate metaphor than short bus, though.
    people like you are especially fun to ride with. theyre always so mad when they finally catch up once we've stopped to wait on them.
    "Knowledge is good." ~ Emil Faber

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by monogod
    people like you are especially fun to ride with. theyre always so mad when they finally catch up once we've stopped to wait on them.
    People like me? You know people like me? I guess not. I'd happily thank you for waiting.

  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by tvrbob86
    People like me? You know people like me? I guess not. I'd happily thank you for waiting.
    just from judging by what you said ive met plenty.

    by "people like you" i meant people who think that 29er pilots ride big wheels cuz they cant (or choose not to) hang with the physical demands necessary to ride a 26er (as though riding a 26er requires SOOOOOOOO much more exertion). people who think this generally get all pissy when the 29er single speeders run off and leave them on their geared or ss 26ers.

    the reality is that people choose to ride different bikes and configurations for different reasons, and it was just a friendly way of pointing out the error in your generalization/stereotype of 29er pilots.

    as mark twain said… “all generalizations are false, including this one.”

    p.s.
    if you think riding a 29er singlespeed is inherently easier than a 26er, go climb a steep hill on a 29er with the same effective gearing (i.e. gear inch) as the 26er youre used to and see which is easier to get up the hill.
    "Knowledge is good." ~ Emil Faber

  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by PeanutButterBreath
    II don't consider sprinting to be a mainstay of my singlespeed riding. Maintaining momentum is much more important, and that is where, especially on a full rigid bike, the larger wheel holds its own, weight penalty notwithstanding. The only time I even imagine that I can feel the extra weight is on slow, techincal climbs where I am coming to a near complete stop between revs. But even then the larger wheels lower propensity to get hung up on a rock more than makes up for any weight increase (again, if there even is any).

    For me riding a 29er singlespeed is all about momentum and rhythm. There were many races last year I would find myself blocked behind a multispeeder who had no rhythm. They were trapped by their mind trying to shift/brake/think/shift all because they didn't want to strain their body.

    I'd like to think my superior skills and technique allow me to nip on the heels of multispeeders... but the truth is more likely that they haven't been riding long enough to know what they're doing, but they will the more they ride.

    As with anything there is a learning curve. If you started to ride a SS in either format you will get more proficient the more you ride it.
    Authorities speculate that speed may have been a factor. They are also holding gravity and inertia for questioning.

  14. #14
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    Let's assume you have multiple bikes...

    since many of us who love to ride end up with more than one.

    Convert your 29er to SS. Buy a cog and spacers, use your RD as a tensioner. Ride it for a couple weeks. Easy enough to put the gears back on.

    You must have an old 26er hardtail sitting round, buy another cog with 2 more teeth and convert it. Ride it for a couple weeks.

    If your 26er has 80mm susp fork, buy a Salsa 26" CroMoto fork from Bikeman (420mm A-C) and slap the 29" front wheel on. Ride it for a couple weeks. or buy the 440mm A-C if your fork has 100mm travel.

    You'll be able to ride all 3 SS setups for the price of 1 fork, a couple cogs and some spacers. If you're thinking rigid it's gotta be a 29er or 96er.

    I converted my 26" SS to a rigid 96er and don't feel any loss of acceleration. Probably because I don't acclerate very fast anyways. As you can see, there was very little change in geometry and standover height.


  15. #15
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    I vote 29'er

    I am new to SS'ing myself, however, I have only ridden a rigid 29'er. What a blast. Feel the pain, feel the burn, feel the pride~! I think the big wheels make the rigid fork easier to deal with, granted speedy, rocky acsents are challenging at first- I am loving it! Amazing also is the rolling momentum generated after a few pedal strokes, managing momentum and flow is way more fun than thinking about gears and shifting. Downhill I can nearly chase down my buddies on thier squishy bikes and they are not digging that. Uphills are pretty speedy too when you think you just have to make it- your committed. Don't be afraid to push though. SS gearing is also a factor on the 29'er. Depending on how strong you are and what you ride the rear cog is key. 2:1 may be the standard, but as a novice riding in the mountains a 33t x 22t seems to work for me today. My SS is a true weapon- yours will turn you into a toughie! I'm riding the Jamis Exile 29'er.

  16. #16
    SingleTrackSal
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    Thanks All....

    For the great advice and many responses, and for keeping OT. Thought I was going to loose it there for a second but it eventually came back

    I work at an LBS and we actually have the RL MC in a 17" (I'd ride the 19); rode it around town one day and was frustrated how fast I was spinning it out. Imagine those feelings would all go away first real hill I got it on.

    And, despite working for a shop, my current stable consists of my '06 (always like saying 'aught-six') GF X-Cal and my '73 Schwinn Speedster. Speedster is my car, GF is obviously the mtb and also my road machine when I put my 35C's on it. So, as one post suggested, I don't have a 26" hardtail kicking it in the garage, else I would try it.

    Guess my original intent behind the post dealt with spinning that extra weight with just one gear (last nice 26 rim brake wheelset I had ran around 1500g - most respectable 29 wheelsets are substantially heavier). But, practice makes perfect, and I really do like the added traction, momentum, and stability of the 29'ers. I can see what one poster was saying about it being like playing softball, all the tech features that gave me headaches on my squishy 26 seem so easy on the big hardtail!

    Again, thanks all!

    Sal

  17. #17
    Nat
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    • peanut butter and jelly
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    • singlespeeding and 29" wheels

  18. #18
    jmw
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    either one is good IMO

    personally, if having multiple bikes for the dirt, I like them to be setup and handle similarly, so if you're used to a 29er geared bike, then go for a 29er SS, or same goes for the 26er
    future nature

  19. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by tvrbob86
    Run whatever you like. I personally think 29" wheels are the equivalent of playing softball instead of baseball, or playing basketball on an eight foot high rim. Some probably think the same about suspension forks and fatter than average tires, so it's all a matter of perspective.
    that is a good analogy

    perhaps if the 29er forum was not so friggin annoying i would consider one for my next single speed project but alas, i dont see it happening. I am anxious to get back on a 26" single speed after having been off one for quite some time now.

    Momentum schmomentum......while I liked most of my 29ers (liked the 3 single speeds, hated the 1 geared version), biking has MANY parameters such that it may or may not be better.

    Will be excited to post a ride report one day.....will run the 26" fully rigid too which is against the rules according to the zealots

  20. #20
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    I rode a singlespeed 26" for about six years. Took a couple years off from off-roading entirely. Returned to the sport recently on a 29er SS. I can unequivocally say that the 29er is the better tool for the job.

    But I'm old enough to not get all defensive, derisive, and combative with people who disagree.
    “The only Zen you find on tops of mountains is the Zen you bring there”---Robert M. Pirsig

  21. #21
    meh... whatever
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    Quote Originally Posted by BundokBiker
    I converted my 26" SS to a rigid 96er and don't feel any loss of acceleration.
    thats because youre still turning a 26" wheel out back.

    when people discuss the potential for loss of acceleration/difficulty climbing on a 29er its because the bigger wheel takes more energy to accelerate at the same rate of velocity than does a 26" wheel.

    hence the inherent advantage of the 96er...
    "Knowledge is good." ~ Emil Faber

  22. #22
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    Yeah, don't let the 29er forum get you thinking that we're all a bunch of bandwagon zealots with something to prove.

    That said, 29ers are vastly superior in all aspects and I'll kill the man that tells me different.

    Just kidding.

    I really like my niner, but I really liked the 26" ss that I learned on as well. The smooth rolling makes the possible momentum loss worth it in my mind. I also made an effort to build some pretty light wheels, which helps. But don't listen to me. Bikes are important personal choices. I'd really strongly suggest that you ride a few of each before you put much money into your new bike. A decision made from personal experience is always better down the road.

    Try the local shops, who may or may not have anything that you're looking for. Ask around in the local forums and see if there's anybody that would be willing to meet for a ride and let you test out their wheels for a few minutes. Do what you can to ride a few bikes and you'll know pretty quickly what you prefer.
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  23. #23
    jmw
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    I would say it's also more economical to build up a light pair of 26 inch hoops than an equally light pair of 29" hoops....
    future nature

  24. #24
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    Quote Originally Posted by tvrbob86
    Run whatever you like. I personally think 29" wheels are the equivalent of playing softball instead of baseball, or playing basketball on an eight foot high rim. Some probably think the same about suspension forks and fatter than average tires, so it's all a matter of perspective.

    That's your opinion, but my opinion is that's just lame.

    So if I ride with 6" of suspension and my buddy rides with 4" suspension, is that the same thing?

    Your analogy isn't very good I don't think.
    "If an illegal alien is an undocumented immigrant, than a drug dealer is an unlicensed pharmicist."

  25. #25
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    nope

    Quote Originally Posted by monogod
    thats because youre still turning a 26" wheel out back.

    when people discuss the potential for loss of acceleration/difficulty climbing on a 29er its because the bigger wheel takes more energy to accelerate at the same rate of velocity than does a 26" wheel.

    hence the inherent advantage of the 96er...
    On a 96er, you still have to accelerate the front tire, as well. (The tire isn't going to accelerate itself.)
    The Lee-Man

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  26. #26
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    Quote Originally Posted by monogod
    just from judging by what you said ive met plenty.

    by "people like you" i meant people who think that 29er pilots ride big wheels cuz they cant (or choose not to) hang with the physical demands necessary to ride a 26er (as though riding a 26er requires SOOOOOOOO much more exertion). people who think this generally get all pissy when the 29er single speeders run off and leave them on their geared or ss 26ers.

    the reality is that people choose to ride different bikes and configurations for different reasons, and it was just a friendly way of pointing out the error in your generalization/stereotype of 29er pilots.

    as mark twain said… “all generalizations are false, including this one.”

    p.s.
    if you think riding a 29er singlespeed is inherently easier than a 26er, go climb a steep hill on a 29er with the same effective gearing (i.e. gear inch) as the 26er youre used to and see which is easier to get up the hill.
    I've been thinking about this question and weighing my options in buying my first SS.... and so far in this thread I'm seeing that a 29er is better because A - it's easier, and B - it's harder.

    Sooo.... now that I'm thoroughly confused, I think I'll stick with the 26" wheels since they're cheaper and I have tires and parts laying around for that.

  27. #27
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    Quote Originally Posted by LeeMan
    On a 96er, you still have to accelerate the front tire, as well. (The tire isn't going to accelerate itself.)
    BAAAAAAAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA..... geez... theres one in every crowd...

    with regards to the subject at hand, you dont "accelerate" the front wheel unless you have a 2 wheel drive bike. so the effort expended is in getting the REAR wheel moving, the front wheel is simply pushed along.

    bike basics... yer feets is connected to the pedals, pedals to the cranks, cranks to the ring, ring to the chain, chain to the cog, cog to the REAR hub, rear hub to the spokes, spokes to the rim, rim to the tire, tire to the ground.

    physics basics... smaller wheels are easier to accelerate, larger wheels have LESS rolling resistance and roll over things better.

    therefore... LESS effort is needed to get a 26" rear wheel moving, just as LESS effort is needed to push a 29er front wheel.

    so with a 96er you get the advantage of quicker acceleration of a 26" rear wheel, along with the advantage of less rolling resistance of a 29er front wheel.

    hence, the inherent benefits of a 96er.
    "Knowledge is good." ~ Emil Faber

  28. #28
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    Quote Originally Posted by jmw
    I would say it's also more economical to build up a light pair of 26 inch hoops than an equally light pair of 29" hoops....
    same hub of choice is used on both, so no savings there.

    same spokes are used both, so no savings there.

    same quality of rims are priced alike for either size, so no savings there.

    same cost to build up a 29er wheelset as to build up a 26" (for those that dont roll their own), so no savings there.

    i personally dont see the economy of building up a light pair of 26ers over 29ers.
    "Knowledge is good." ~ Emil Faber

  29. #29
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    Nope

    Quote Originally Posted by monogod
    BAAAAAAAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA..... geez... theres one in every crowd...
    What, one that understands physics better than you do? No doubt. ;-) [Just kidding, of course, so don't get your nose bent out of shape.]

    Seriously, you still have to accelerate the front wheel. Just like the back wheel, if it is going slow and you want it to rotate faster, it require circular (angular) acceleration to overcome angular momentum. Angular momentum is why having light wheels is more important than any other weight savings on a bike if you like accelerating quickly.

    Basic lesson: the rear tire pedal is connected to the frame and the rear wheel. Also connected to the frame is the front wheel. (Sorry, couldn't resist mocking you.)

    I've always considered the advantage of a 96er to be that (1) you can still use a frame that only fits a 26 inch rear wheel, but you get the roll-over-momentum advantage of a larger tire in the front. Motocross bikes have had a front tire that's larger than the rear for at least 20 years, so it's not a new idea.
    The Lee-Man

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  30. #30
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    Quote Originally Posted by connie
    I've been thinking about this question and weighing my options in buying my first SS.... and so far in this thread I'm seeing that a 29er is better because A - it's easier, and B - it's harder.

    Sooo.... now that I'm thoroughly confused, I think I'll stick with the 26" wheels since they're cheaper and I have tires and parts laying around for that.
    LOL

    i can see your confusion....

    29er wheels are more difficult to push uphill when you first make the switch from a 26er, but it is something that you overcome and adapt to relatively quickly. just like going from a gearie to a ss.

    the benefits, however, are much more pronounced. 29ers hold their speed and momentum better, roll over things much better, and (rigid to rigid) are simply more comfortable than 26ers.

    the minor inconvenience of having to work a bit harder for a while when climbing is well worth the benefits.
    "Knowledge is good." ~ Emil Faber

  31. #31
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    To get wheels that are the same weight, you will have to buy a lighter and presumably more expensive 29er rim and spokes.

    (If you buy the lightest 26" rim and lightest spokes, you will probably never be able to build a 29er rim that weighs the same, so the exercise requires that the 26" wheel is not as light as possible.)

  32. #32
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    Quote Originally Posted by LeeMan
    What, one that understands physics better than you do? No doubt. ;-) [Just kidding, of course, so don't get your nose bent out of shape.]

    Seriously, you still have to accelerate the front wheel. Just like the back wheel, if it is going slow and you want it to rotate faster, it require circular (angular) acceleration to overcome angular momentum. Angular momentum is why having light wheels is more important than any other weight savings on a bike if you like accelerating quickly.

    Basic lesson: the rear tire pedal is connected to the frame and the rear wheel. Also connected to the frame is the front wheel. (Sorry, couldn't resist mocking you.)

    I've always considered the advantage of a 96er to be that (1) you can still use a frame that only fits a 26 inch rear wheel, but you get the roll-over-momentum advantage of a larger tire in the front. Motocross bikes have had a front tire that's larger than the rear for at least 20 years, so it's not a new idea.
    FINALLY!!!! SOMEONE WHO CAN SLING POO BACK WITHOUT GETTING THEIR PANTIES ALL BUNCHED UP!!!! I LOVE YOU!!!!

    notice i said "with regards to the subject at hand, you dont "accelerate" the front wheel unless you have a 2 wheel drive bike". thats because the subject at hand was my statement in response to a pilot who said he didnt notice any difference in acceleration putting a big hoop up front. since its commonly known that 29er wheels are slightly more difficult to turn when climbing steep things, i was simply pointing out that he wouldnt notice increased difficulty during acceleration because he still had a 26" wheel out back.

    more basic physics... acceleration is the measurement of the length of time something has traveled in a given distance. angular velocity is how fast something is moving, while angular acceleration is the rate of change of angular velocity over time.

    more basic physics part 2... inertia is the resistance or disinclination of an object to be put into motion while momentum is the inclination of an object to REMAIN in motion. torque is the force that must be applied to an object in order to overcome inertia and cause angular acceleration (i.e. a change in angular velocity).

    therefore, i believe you meant that if you are dissatisfied with your wheel's angular velocity (i.e. speed) and wish to increase it, sufficient torque must be applied to the wheel in order to overcome its inertia thereby increasing its angular velocity.

    oh, and i was gonna throw in the thing about motocross bikes using big wheel up front little wheel out back for over 30 years but didnt. "great minds..." as they say.
    "Knowledge is good." ~ Emil Faber

  33. #33
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    Quote Originally Posted by PeanutButterBreath
    (If you buy the lightest 26" rim and lightest spokes, you will probably never be able to build a 29er rim that weighs the same, so the exercise requires that the 26" wheel is not as light as possible.)
    EXCELLENT POINT!

    there is where the variance of the degree of "weight weenie" comes in.

    speaking in EXACT terms it is impossible for the two lightest builds of each to be the exact weight due to more rim and spoke material being needed for a 29er.

    to build comparable (i.e. within about 50-75g or so) wheelsets of both is about the same $$$ though.

    since i doubt very many pilots here are like the princess and the pea and thus arent sensitive (read: AWARE) of the difference of even 100g between the two wheelsets my response was to the relative question at hand rather than to the exact, clinical absolute of it.
    "Knowledge is good." ~ Emil Faber

  34. #34
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    Oh yeah, now I remember why I stopped visiting the 29er board.
    All the Dude ever wanted was his rug back.

  35. #35
    OOOOOOOh Gee Are Eee
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    Good riders

    Quote Originally Posted by SingleTrackSal
    OK, after an admittedly very cursory glance at the SS & 29 forums, and a more lengthy review of the mtbr SS FAQ page, I pose the following question to you all: from the perspective of SS'ing, does it seem to make more sense to run a 6'er or a 9'er, or perhaps a 96'er?
    Sal,

    You will probably enjoy either bike. Both units have their advantages and a good rider will have fun on either one. I've been a full suspension 26" rider for years and bought a RL MC29er as a temporary bike while I got the fork repaired on my Titus... that was 2 months ago and I still haven't felt the urge to ship the fork off (note to self do this today).

    I don't notice the weight of the 29" wheels when I'm accelerating, all I know is that this bike is just plain fun to ride.

  36. #36
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    I'd say it would depend very heavily on where you ride and on what kind of trails. I live in the eastern U.S. (Birmingham, AL) and ride mostly tight and twisty single track and I've ridden both 29 and 26 on them. I personally prefer the 26 for that type of riding because I feel like they are much easier to control in the tight confines. If I were riding with fewer tight turns and short hills that require quick accelerations I would go for a 29er.

  37. #37
    SingleTrackSal
    Guest

    Been Riding...

    Again, my thanks to all for your input and opinions.

    The weather in these parts has been cooperating as of late so I've managed to get in a few rides quasi-SS. I've just been running my geared bike in a 32-18 ratio, being very disciplined to not shift, and it's actually worked rather well....despite being wicked outta shape. My winter riding/fitness routine consisted of daily commutes to work of about 2 miles rt, one spin bike session, two snow shoe outtings, and two jaunts down snowmobile trails on a Puglsey demo bike. Despite that, I'm not feeling too worked.

    Might just throw down on the MC Flight 29 and see how bad the bug bites me!

    Cheers,
    Sal

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