Singlespeed - 26 or 29er?- Mtbr.com
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  1. #1
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    Singlespeed - 26 or 29er?

    After way way to much research, I have narrowed my singlespeed search down to the Redline Monocog. But now I have to decide between a good deal on a second hand 26" or a brand new 29er. I have had hardtails of both wheel sizes in the past and pretty much favoured the 26", hence the 29er was sold.

    However, everything I have read tends to point towards the 29er as bike of choice for singlespeed riding. Since I am new to the whole singlespeed scene, I am stuck.

    Are 29ers that much better for singlespeed riding?

    Which size wheel should I go for in regards to the type of riding I will be doing which will be just local single track and some general bush bashing shenanigans.

  2. #2
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    I personally prefer 26" for SS, couple that to a rigid and they feel like big BMX bikes which to me, adds to the fun

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    the general consensus seems to be that 29ers are preferred for all sorts of XC type riding. look through the single-speed photo thread. if you exclude the bikes that are obviously budget-built conversions of old bikes and focus on the bikes that seem intentional for "serious" trail riding, everything is going toward 29ers. I work at a bike shop and we don't even stock any 26" mountain bikes except for the entry-level bikes that probably won't see trails anyways.

    that said, many people ,myself included, have some bikes or a pile of tires, forks, and wheels that they no longer use because they ride their 29ers exclusively now. so if you're into the 26er thing, it will be easy to find cheap used parts to upgrade your bike.

  4. #4
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    Fuuuuck

  5. #5
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    i think less and less people will experience 26" SS just because less and less manufacturers make them. unless you get second hand manufactured years ago.

    if you notice some threads here, new and old riders tend to go to the sub $500 bikes which are readily available to the market (nothing wrong with that) and quite a few to choose from.

    sometimes the decision is not about the wheel size, but rather what's out there and how much you can spend.

    so if i am going to buy a brand new SS, its going to be a 29, not that i like a 29er but the trend made the choice for me. sad.
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  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by umarth View Post
    Fuuuuck
    bud, 10 years from now, we be riding the same 26 bikes with cracked and sun dried tires. we be like sourcing for parts like trying to get a chain for your skiptooth drive.
    everything sucks but my vacuum cleaner.

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    I still prefer 26" wheels. It just seems to suit how I ride better.

  8. #8
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    36 is the new 29.

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    Theres simply no denying the best thing you can do. Ride both kind on YOUR trails. Who gives a rats bung what Umarth thinks. You ride your trails. It should be obvious to you after you ride both types. If it's not, then who cares, flip a coin or close your eyes and pick.

    For the trail I ride the most, I took two very similar bikes out. Same model rims, tires, bars, frames made out of the same stuff, etc. I knew right away which one I enjoyed more.

  10. #10
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    Split the difference 650b.

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by greenlimo View Post
    Which size wheel should I go for in regards to the type of riding I will be doing which will be just local single track and some general bush bashing shenanigans.
    Yes.
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  12. #12
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    I'm so b curious.
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    are you going to change anything on it, or just leave it as is? I think it would be fun to ride a rigid 26er on my local trails just for the challenge, but after a while it would just get to be a bit too much work for a bit less fun. If your putting a squishy on a 26er then it could be cool, but from my experience i love my 29er monocog, and i am glad its not a 26er. I used to ride an old rigid (geared) trek as a commuter, path bike thing, and it was fun, but riding it through rocks or on more technical climbs and stuff was just a lot of effort, and the whole time it felt like i was riding something that was holding me back from enjoying it.

    just my 2 cents though, i'm new to the mtbiking scene, so i don't have old allegiances to stick to

  14. #14
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    IMO, singlespeeding and 29" wheels were made for each other. I rode and raced 26" SS for several years, made the switch to a Monocog Flite 29er, and never looked back.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Just J View Post
    I personally prefer 26" for SS, couple that to a rigid and they feel like big BMX bikes which to me, adds to the fun
    Does that make the 29er even a bigger BMX bike?

    In my garage currently resides two 26" SS's (one is the wife's) and SS 29er. I think I need a 650b as well. And a 36er. Throw in a 20" and a 69er.

  16. #16
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    29er all the way. One word, momentum. You'll learn to make it handle
    Drink beer all day

  17. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by p nut View Post
    Does that make the 29er even a bigger BMX bike?
    I guess so!

    Like other people have said though, I think a lot depends on where you ride, to me, I have more fun on 26" wheels so no longer own a 29er.

  18. #18
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    I own both a SS 26er and SS 29er. The 29er was recently converted to a SS from being geared (eccentric BB). Both are different in their own, fun ways and each has it's strength/weaknesses.

    But like DBAD mentioned, I have noticed the difference on the 29er when it comes to momentum and keeping that momentum. I geared it 32/20 and thought a few climbs on my local trail would still be a grunt, but was really surprised how I just scooted up the hill, and those same climbs felt a bit easier than the 26er. I do like the 26er for it's lighter weight and quicker handling. If someone held a gun to my head and made me choose, I would go with the 29er SS.

  19. #19
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    You should try both/get a 29er as they are superior to anything/get a 26" as they are more flickable and the 29er isn't for everyone as it takes longer to get up to speed, doesn't do switchbacks well, looks like a circus bike.

    Whatever you get, go the cheaper route such as Bikes Direct just in case you don't like SS/support your LBS as you will support your local economy, get a proper fit, and have potentially free adjustments down the road.

    Look for a good second hand bike as you usually get more bike for your money/get a new bike so you have the frame warranty for original owners.
    Sometimes, you need to go fast enough that the trail is a blur to find clarity. -- Wild Bill

  20. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by Malibu412 View Post
    You should try both/get a 29er as they are superior to anything/get a 26" as they are more flickable and the 29er isn't for everyone as it takes longer to get up to speed, doesn't do switchbacks well, looks like a circus bike.

    Whatever you get, go the cheaper route such as Bikes Direct just in case you don't like SS/support your LBS as you will support your local economy, get a proper fit, and have potentially free adjustments down the road.

    Look for a good second hand bike as you usually get more bike for your money/get a new bike so you have the frame warranty for original owners.
    I like it.

  21. #21
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    Thanks for the advice guys. Decision time.

  22. #22
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    Quote Originally Posted by bad mechanic View Post
    I still prefer 26" wheels. It just seems to suit how I ride better.
    Same here... I have given 29" wheels a fair shot, and they just feel weird to me. I strongly prefer 26" wheels.

  23. #23
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    Quote Originally Posted by DBAD View Post
    29er all the way. One word, momentum. You'll learn to make it handle
    agree X1000.... 29ers mow over stuff better than 26 IMO.

    Q

  24. #24
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    Quote Originally Posted by Malibu412 View Post
    You should try both/get a 29er as they are superior to anything/get a 26" as they are more flickable and the 29er isn't for everyone as it takes longer to get up to speed, doesn't do switchbacks well, looks like a circus bike.

    Whatever you get, go the cheaper route such as Bikes Direct just in case you don't like SS/support your LBS as you will support your local economy, get a proper fit, and have potentially free adjustments down the road.

    Look for a good second hand bike as you usually get more bike for your money/get a new bike so you have the frame warranty for original owners.
    i hate to be a party pooper, but yes the 29 will handle differently than the 26... but if you feel the 29 is not as nimble, maybe you are on the wrong 29. I'm just sayin...

    Q

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    Quote Originally Posted by AK47 View Post
    If someone held a gun to my head....
    That would be really ironic. Just sayin'.
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    Quote Originally Posted by AK47 View Post
    If someone held a gun to my head, I would crap my pants.
    fixed

  27. #27
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    I think one comment that you made - about riding 29 before and selling it - may be something to consider. Now - we know nothing about your height, riding style, trails in your area, etc.... I did the "get a 29'er SS to try it out" five years ago - and have never looked back. I now have a ton of old 26" tires and parts that will only be worn out by someone else. If you plan on riding rigid, there is a definite advantage to the 29" wheel with a fat tire (esp on the front).

    My rec would be to try out a number of 29" hardtails that can be converted to SS, as well as any dedicated SS you find in your price range - Raleigh XXIX, Redline Monocog, Trek Marlin or Rig, Kona etc... all have their own feel. Salsa El Mariachi, Trek Sawyer, Soma makes some frames that are reasonably priced, etc... If you can't find a 29" that you get a groove going with, that sorta makes your decision easier - but it may make your search harder. As mentioned, production 26" being made for SS are sort of disappearing now.

    Good luck whichever way you end up going.
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  28. #28
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    Quote Originally Posted by quicklaps View Post
    i hate to be a party pooper, but yes the 29 will handle differently than the 26... but if you feel the 29 is not as nimble, maybe you are on the wrong 29. I'm just sayin...

    Q
    Class, can anyone tell quicklaps what he missed in my post?
    Sometimes, you need to go fast enough that the trail is a blur to find clarity. -- Wild Bill

  29. #29
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    Quote Originally Posted by Malibu412 View Post
    Class, can anyone tell quicklaps what he missed in my post?
    I'd rather ride.

  30. #30
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    I personally prefer 29" for SS, couple that to a rigid and they feel like big BMX bikes which to me, adds to the fun

  31. #31
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    I've been curious, and I'm gonna try 29er SS this spring, see what it's like, but 26er SS is a lot of fun. They are very nimble, and light. I'd imagine 29er ss will be fun, and climb/go over stuff better, but won't be as fun when things get twisty, or there are some fun DJ's ect. I like my 26er SS because it is a big BMX bike, and I like the feel of my 29er cause it feels more like an MTB. Pick what suits you best I guess. But my 26er SS is hobbled together with lots of older parts, but It dosen't stop me from hanging with the big boys on their real expensive rigs. It's the rider, not the bike, so whatever works for you and you have the most fun on/what riding style you like best. I feel if you want a good all around long distance terrain crushing bike, the 29er would be best, if you just like to punk about, and have fun on technical trails, 26er.
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  32. #32
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    29r all the way. Roll big wheels

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    26er, with front squish, love how it feels, light, nimble, actually kinda unforgiving of mistakes, but since i am a weekend worrier and my rides are normally under 15 miles and I'm not racing anyone but myself... the fun factor ways in a lot heavier than the outright speed. I think if i rode more or farther the 29er might be nice since it takes less skill to ride over things instead of picking the fastest line/flying over it, or having to really work the bike underneath you to ride up those rooty trails.

    I also ride tight single track, rolling hills with little total elevation change and pretty flowy trails... big BMX bike i guess...

    but i'm pretty old school and a late adopter.

  34. #34
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    been riding a 26 norco fireball ss conversion for the last year and loving it, nimble, quick to corner and climbs well, just building my new niner now, and ridden a few 29er in the decision making process and loved the flowing ride of the sir9, but as others have said I reckon its just about you and what you like the feel of, get out and ride some different bikes.

  35. #35
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    I hear the "quicker handling" argument for 26ers brought up alot, but my Felt Nine handles quicker than my old trek 6500. I assume head angle plays a large role. I'll be converting the Felt to single speed this spring. Can't wait.

  36. #36
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    Quote Originally Posted by jsqueri View Post
    I hear the "quicker handling" argument for 26ers brought up alot, but my Felt Nine handles quicker than my old trek 6500. I assume head angle plays a large role. I'll be converting the Felt to single speed this spring. Can't wait.
    That's kinda like comparing a yugo to a porsche and acting surprised that the heavier porsche handles better than the yugo...

    for the same money and similar build intents a 26er will most likely be lighter, and geometrically more compact than a comparable 29er.

  37. #37
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    for the same money and similar build intents a 26er will most likely be lighter, and geometrically more compact than a comparable 29er.
    So the quicker handling of the 26er isn't just in teh wheels. That makes more sense to me. Oh, and my Trek SS is no Yugo!

  38. #38
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    the age old question... ride what you like.

    i have both. 29er gets more ride time.

  39. #39
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    Quote Originally Posted by icon149 View Post
    ... 29er might be nice since it takes less skill to ride
    ....

  40. #40
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    29er Monocog, dude. My primary bike before I got the Cog was a 26" full suspension Intense, and it's been ridden maybe five times in the last 6 months. Not only does the 9er get all my ride time, it's also my commuting bike. I put 25 miles roundtrip three times a week on her and it's not only fun, it's made me a stronger rider. And a better person.
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  41. #41
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    Quote Originally Posted by icon149 View Post
    I think if i rode more or farther the 29er might be nice since it takes less skill to ride over things instead of picking the fastest line/flying over it, or having to really work the bike underneath you to ride up those rooty trails.
    Less skill or more efficient? Have you actually rode a 29er?

  42. #42
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    Quote Originally Posted by SeaBass_ View Post
    Less skill or more efficient? Have you actually rode a 29er?
    Another person who's drunk on the 26er kool-aid. Lots of people are too quick to judge. Even I'll admit, I wasn't sure I made a good call with a 29 at first, they def. take some getting used to, but once you figure it out you can really start to enjoy it.

    Each bike has it's strengths and weaknesses. You want the best of both worlds? Buy a 26in bike and a 29er bike! haha I did, and I enjoy the hell out of both!
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  43. #43
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    I had both at one time. The 26er was a carbon frame, super light and fun. Then I bought a kona unit which was heavier and not as flickable, but it stomped all over the 26er on chunky techy trails, the unit won. I recently converted the 26er back to a 1x9 for mostly road duty now and I love riding the unit ss on the same trails as my xc fs bike.

  44. #44
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    Lucky little me!...any 29 is too big and awkward to me even small size frames. Added advantage that 26 components are cheaper!

  45. #45
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    I had a 26" Orange P7 SS with 5" forks and Inbred 29er SS with 4" forks. Ended up selling the Orange and kept the Inbred.

    If my local trails were curvy and smooth with endless switchbacks and jumps might have chosen otherwise. But no, they are endless roots, rocks, soft swampy areas, sand and snow...

  46. #46
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    29ers run smoother and faster. No doubt about that.

    But there's just something about the compactness and fast feel of 26ers that I love. I feel like I'm driving a snowplow on a 29er.

    If it came down to buying a new bike I'd probably go 29er as there seem to be more options available for those these days, but it would take some getting used to. It may not necessarily be better, just different. 26ers are oh-so-maneuverable.

  47. #47
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    Quote Originally Posted by greenlimo View Post
    I have had hardtails of both wheel sizes in the past and pretty much favoured the 26", hence the 29er was sold..
    Quote Originally Posted by umarth View Post
    Fuuuuck
    OP answers his own question. Three replies later is this ^^^^^^^

    And yet the post goes on.
    Yeah well, that's just, ya' know, like, your opinion, man.

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  48. #48
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    Get them both, it's the only reasonable thing to do.

    When you're on the 26'r, make fun of and talk mad smack about 29'rs, and vice-versa when on the 29'r. Win-win for everybody
    "There's little traffic on the extra mile".

  49. #49
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  50. #50
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    Quote Originally Posted by Spinnyspinspin View Post
    Yeah well, that's just, ya' know, like, your opinion, man. ~ The Dude
    Actually, no, it's not an opinion. The OP answered his own question and then Umarth said ****.
    Then the post continued.

    My opinion, however, which I repeat daily (except on weekends) to my 8th graders in question form is: If one can answer their own questions based upon the information that they already have, why ask it?

    My other opinion is that you're out of your element so shut the f*$& up, Donny!
    Yeah well, that's just, ya' know, like, your opinion, man.

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  51. #51
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    You tell your 8th graders that? What happened to- there are no stupid questions. But anyway. People get so anal on these forums. Ride what you like. That said, larger wheels seem to help smooth things out if you plan on going rigid. Get what you want and only bother getting super anal about your choice if you become professional and ride for money.
    Last edited by greasemonkeee; 12-04-2011 at 11:11 PM.
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  52. #52
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    I have both and I've noticed one is better than the other one about half the time.

  53. #53
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    Ha!

  54. #54
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    I started with a 26er and quickly went to a 29er. I ride in an area that has a lot of techincal riding so wheel traps and being able to roll over stuff is super important. If you dont have a 15mm axel, you will want one.

  55. #55
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    I am converting an old Cannondale comfort 400 into a SS, it is a 26er and I'll be keeping it this way. For the riding I do tire size won't matter much.

    If I were purchasing a new bike it would most likely be a 29 for no other reason than you can get one for around $350 on BD. Plus there is resale to consider, since 29 is obviously the next big thing you'll most likely have an easier time selling it in a few years if you needed to.

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