What's faster? 26" s/s or 29" f/s geared?- Mtbr.com
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  1. #1
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    What's faster? 26" s/s or 29" f/s geared?

    Setting: 24hrs at the Old Pueblo Tucson, AZ
    Why: I want to know what is faster?
    Bikes: 26" single speed crmo, ebb, discs, 100mm fork (no lockout), 34/18 gearing, 2.1 Epicwolf with Stan's. 29" full suspension (4" rear, 80mm Marzocchi front), 27 speed, 2.1 Nano with special Stan's-like slime.
    Total laps as part of a 5-person team: 4
    Flats/machanicals: Zero
    Results:
    1st lap: I did the first lap with the LeMans start and uncorked a 1:07:53 on the 29er - pretty dang fast I thought considering my previous year's lap times.
    2nd lap: 26" s/s. Time - 1:20:13. First night lap at about 6:30 p.m. Legs felt a bit tight at the beginning of the lap but after 5 minutes loosened up nicely. Turned light on about 15 minutes into the lap. I felt really disappointed in this time because I felt like I was going faster. The s/s felt really good out there and I felt pretty good at the end of the lap.
    3rd lap: 29er f/s. Time - 1:22:02. Night lap at about 1:00 a.m. Felt better at the beginning of the lap than I did at the beginning of the 2nd lap. Again, finished feeling disappointed in my time because I still felt like I was rolling along good passing everyone and only getting passed by Cameron on the gas line rode - wow did he roll past fast.
    4th lap: 26" s/s. Time - 1:18:12. Daylight at about 8:00 a.m. Hopped on the bike and felt really good. Felt so good that I actually was hoping (subconsciencely) that my team-mate wouldn't be there for the baton pass and I could go out for another lap. Felt pretty good about the time.

    So, what's faster? considering lap times only, the 29er, but the first lap cut out a section of single track, but had a running section - so I think the two just about cancelled each other out. But considering the subsequent laps, the 26" s/s was faster. I was running a 34/18 and considered changing out the 18 for a 17. If I had done that, I know the 26" s/s would have been even faster because of the lengthy flat/rolling sections. Those are the objective results.

    Subjectively, I can say that I felt fresher after laps on the 26" s/s. I felt like I was always trying to be on top of the highest gear possible on the 29er and as a result, I think it took something out of my legs - but it's obvious by the first lap and fresh legs that the geared 29 is dang fast. My second lap on the 29er was really disappointing because I felt like I was going fast. At the beginning of the last climb, a really fast girl hopped on my wheel. I asked her if she wanted by. She said something about her light going dim and all she wanted was a wheel. So, we put the hammer down (at least I felt like we did) and flew past everyone up the hill. I thought I would really have a time around 1:15

    The 26" s/s, on the other had, I had some time to recover on the flat rolling sections - spin out, coast, spin out, coast etc. I'm a spinner and it just felt better.

    With hindsight, if I would have had to choose one bike for the race, I would have chosen the 26" s/s with 2:1 gearing.

    Next year? 29 s/s vs 26 s/s. I can't wait.

    (posted in both 29er and s/s forums)

    I should also note that the 29er did not feel any slower through the tight single track sections. Personally, I feel no adverse handling of a 29er vs. 26. Height also seems to be a factor in 29 vs 26 - I'm 6.3". Cameron who won solo on a 29er looks to be about 5'7".
    Last edited by ssmike; 02-18-2004 at 10:18 AM.

  2. #2
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    Well, the soloist who won road a 29 incher.

  3. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by skinny-tire
    Well, the soloist who won road a 29 incher.
    yes, he did.

  4. #4
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    Next year try a 29" ss w/ 100mm fork. What 29" geared FS bike are you riding?

    I know what you mean when you were trying to push a bigger gear on the 29"er. Also, your geared is probably 4+ pounds heavier too.

    I've spoken to a Fisher Mechanic and Nat Ross and Cameron have shaved major weight off their 29"ers. They are stupid light, run stans no tubes, and "special" tires and wheels depending on the course (like the bonty carbon rims with IRC Mythos 42mm tires.) Ryder has been known to run this for short-track races as well. Ahhh...technology and unlimited resources and $$$...

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by 2melow
    Next year try a 29" ss w/ 100mm fork. What 29" geared FS bike are you riding?

    I know what you mean when you were trying to push a bigger gear on the 29"er. Also, your geared is probably 4+ pounds heavier too.

    I've spoken to a Fisher Mechanic and Nat Ross and Cameron have shaved major weight off their 29"ers. They are stupid light, run stans no tubes, and "special" tires and wheels depending on the course (like the bonty carbon rims with IRC Mythos 42mm tires.) Ryder has been known to run this for short-track races as well. Ahhh...technology and unlimited resources and $$$...
    My 26" s/s isn't crazy light at 24.5 and my 29er isn't crazy heavy at 25.5. It's a one off that I had made - prefer to keep it on the down low because I'm not pushing brands. Light weight does have it's advantages for a soloist in a 24 hour race - in fact, I'd say it's crucial to be super competitive. Those guys replace every bolt with a ti or alloy one and do every little thing to lighten the bike.

  6. #6
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    who makes a 100mm 29er fork?

    ... having just said that 75mm the most available that i knew of for 29ers, now i feel like an @ss.

    who makes this 100mm fork? suddenly i'm interested.

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by kept man
    ... having just said that 75mm the most available that i knew of for 29ers, now i feel like an @ss.

    who makes this 100mm fork? suddenly i'm interested.
    White Brothers BW 1.0 (coil/oil) (www.EkoSport.com) and doesn't Marzocchi make a 100mm Marathon for the big wheel crowd?

  8. #8
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    it's the engine, not the bike

    racers have such a funny mentality, they're always looking for reasons... ahem, I mean EXCUSES... why they didn't go as fast as they wanted, or why they didn't win...

    ...must be the bike, eh?

    NOT!

    that's a ridiculous thought. couldn't be true. after all, our society is based on acquiring new material items as a singular means of self-expression, so it MUST be something that I can buy, not something I must do without buying anything... right?

    jeez.

    how pathetic.

  9. #9
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    Yea, but suddenly a lot of endurance racers are testing stuff out (29"er related) since it is UCI legal now and some studies have proven a similarly equipped 29" bike might be 1-3 percent faster.

    So...if the engine is tuned to peak performance a bike with bigger wheels might prove to be an advantage.

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by gonzostrike
    racers have such a funny mentality, they're always looking for reasons... ahem, I mean EXCUSES... why they didn't go as fast as they wanted, or why they didn't win...

    ...must be the bike, eh?

    NOT!

    that's a ridiculous thought. couldn't be true. after all, our society is based on acquiring new material items as a singular means of self-expression, so it MUST be something that I can buy, not something I must do without buying anything... right?

    jeez.

    how pathetic.
    Yep, I must be totally pathetic because ... sorry, just hit the highlight and delete button for the rest of the tripe I typed because I'm now laughing because I now "get it."

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