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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I'm looking into buying one of the Fisher 29's. I have 2 questions about the 29" experience. First: Are there any drawbacks in a bike's ability to climb due to the larger 29" wheels/tires ? Second: What about wheel flex ? I'm 6' 3" and weight 230 lbs. Could my weight be a problem on rough trails ?
 

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Purveyor of Fine 29erness
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626 Posts
29ers are for you!
Climbing isnt an issue, in fact it's easier because those big wheels want to roll. I have found that I can turn taller gears uphill.
As for weight, I'm 225, and I ride a lot of very technical New England singletrack with lots of roots, logs and rocks (when it doesnt rain for 3 weeks straight). I laced my own wheels, but I am using double butted spokes on 32 hole rims. and havent had any problems with wheel strength.
G
 

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wow...........

jtr,
I am surprised nobody has blasted, I mean reponded to this e-mail.
Anyway, on to your questions.

Frankly, a guy your size should be a 'no-brainer' for 29" wheels, but your experience may vary.

No experience with a Fisher 29 personally, but I find the climbing ability of my 29" bike equal to or better than my 26" bike (these are both SS however, if that makes a difference).

There has been some issue with certain Fisher frames cracking; not exactly sure which ones.
Might want to search and find out, as you are plenty stout at your size.
Also, there are other 29" options available (on a budget mind you) for a clyde like yourself.

As far as the wheel flex.
I think that you can have a pretty bombproof/stiff set of wheels built depending on what your desired weight to strength ratio is.

The Kris Holm (sp?) unicycle rim is apparently indestructible...........but a bit portly.
May not matter to a guy your size though.

Do a user search on Mikesee and you will probably find more than you need to know to make a decision on wheels.

Most, if not all on this forum have embraced the 29er standard. Some even sell off all of their 26" bikes shortly therafter.

Few that I have seen, actually go back to the traditional sized wheels.

Personally, I will likely keep only a 26" FS for those 'special days'.
Otherwise, 29" is the ticket for me.

Good luck, whatever you end up on.

C.

jtrider said:
I'm looking into buying one of the Fisher 29's. I have 2 questions about the 29" experience. First: Are there any drawbacks in a bike's ability to climb due to the larger 29" wheels/tires ? Second: What about wheel flex ? I'm 6' 3" and weight 230 lbs. Could my weight be a problem on rough trails ?
 

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Work Shed...
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563 Posts
I've beaten alot of people to the top of climbs, including skinny roadie types. I have an 06 paragon, and at 6' 180lbs, I have put it through the paces. I will admit that I have dropped things that I shouldnt have, and so far everything has held up great. This has all been with the stock wheels to, I have yet to save enough for some mikesee's =) So far, I haven't broken anything but the cranks.. Oh yeah, I had to retighten a spoke so far..
 

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Perfect!

I am like 6'4 and the fisher fits me perfect! I have broken a couple wheels, but I am 245 and they had more to do with rider error, although I did have a warranty rim at some point....but I digress.

I have never had trouble climbing with the 29 inch wheels and in fact due the bigger footprint, and lower center of gravity, I feel like I am a far better climber than I really am. When I got my first 29er a couple years ago, I finally cleaned all the climbs at my local trail.

good luck

CB
 

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no fat chicks
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wheel flex will not be a problem unless you are running NOS
if you use NOS then maybe switch to steel wheels and a 4.10 posi rear end
 

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The man who fell to earth
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335 Posts
Climbing is better. The wheels are not really flexy per se, but you can feel them flexing more than comparable 26-ers (I weigh 180lbs too btw). Still, not enough to detract from the overall appeal of 29-er goodness, not going back to 26 that's for sure.
 

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Recovering couch patato
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There was this recent race with short steep climbs. On the first and most brutal of them in the race, the pack was riding the smooth part of the climb, and I was able to motor my way past it through the rough, mowed down wild grow, bumps, etc.

For wheels, every rider rides and senses diferently. Without doubt a custom built wheelset will be a mayor upgrade to any stock bike, and for a big feller on a 29"er this counts a bit stronger still. A purposely built 36-h rear wheel especially may give push all your right buttons. A DT trekking rim (if those come in 36h), the Mvic equivalent, or even the slightly heavier NoTubes FR rim (ok, that's 32-h only, but should work for your XC). Many options out there, and more on their way.

With 29", I find it easier to keep my pace going up. Especially when steep and/or bumpy, the large wheels keep you going, don't get hung up as easily, for instance climbing up brake stutter bumbs.
For longer "boring" climbs, it's just the weight penalty (like a pound for a big guy's 29"er) vs. the lower rolling resistance and slightly better weight distribution. Near impossible to measure (differences in terms of dimension and their share being so minute), but larger wheels should always be favorable over smaller ones. Even the most fanatic roadies use the largest wheels allowed for their road climb time trials.

If you have you-specific wheels done before you get the bike itself, you get to sell the stock wheels as new, and not spend too much on the upgrade. IMO it would be worth it for a big guy. You bike will barely weigh 10% of you no matter how many golden chains you hang from it :)
 
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