I am 5'2" and all my bikes are 29'ers except for the tandem and the beater bike.
Yep, I have the only size small ever made so far. He is gonna have to build more smalls now tho I think ;-). It really is an awesome ride.Impy said:Nice Milk money! There is one waiting to be biult in our garage (not mine).
This was a cool thread we had here a while back where girlie 29er pics were posted http://forums.mtbr.com/showthread.php?t=487339&highlight=29ereschmid said:What is the attraction to a 29er for you? Are you following a fad or do you have some specific advantages in mind?
I'm 5' nothing and a mechanical enginerd. My 29-er Black Sheep will be arriving someday... I'll let you knoweschmid said:As an obvious science geek, I am just sharing the theory.
Everything you say about rotational inertia and momentum is correct, except when you ride a 29er over bumpy surfaces. I ride mine over cobblestones all the time and the guys on 26ers can't keep up, especially when we're going downhill, and I'm not a particularly fast rider. It's as though each stone, rock or bump is a smaller speed bump on my 29er, so I lose a lot less momentum when it gets real bumpy and I work less to maintain my speed. This may make it even better for smaller riders. Some of my friends that don't ride 29ers (they're becoming fewer) ask me if it's harder to pedal a larger wheel. I say no, it's actually easier. And now the wheel weights are coming down, so it's even less of an issue.Thanks for the imput Lynda. You give a good argument for the larger wheel. I guess I was asking what Glenn's wife is expecting from a 29er. I imagine she should get in on this discussion herself.
I, myself, question the utility of 29er for small riders. As the size of the wheel increase so does its rotational inertia. This means a 29 inch wheel at rest more strongly resists moving compared to a 26 inch wheel. Rotational inertia is a function of the square of the wheel's radius. In other words, as the wheel gets bigger, its difficulty in moving it from rest exponentially grows. I think this puts the small women rider at a disadvantage as this usually means shorter legs and smaller muscles which produce less torque on the pedals. There may be expections for the "power packet" body type that excell at short powerfull bursts that eliminate the disadvantage of the larger rotational inertia.
Of course, the larger wheel provides more angular momentum. This is what is responsible for the stability at speed and over obstacles of larger wheeled bikes. This has led to the sweet ride and popularity of the 29er. It is important to note, however, that angular momentum is a function of the radius but not as the square of the radius as with rotational inertia. Rotational inertia outpaces the angular momentum as wheel sizes grow. From the mountian biker perspective this means that the advantages of the increased stability of a 29er might outweigh the disadvantages of the increased difficultly in making the larger wheel move. I believe that the smaller rider might feel the discrepency between the disadvantages and advatages more than a larger more powerfull rider. What advantages a 6 fot man expreiences on a 29er may not be what a 5 foot two woman will experience.
As an obvious science geek, I am just sharing the theory. Nothing can replace test riding various bikes--both 26 and 29 inch wheeled bikes. Just don't buy a bike on hype alone.