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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Looks like there will be huge increase in 29ers available to Europeans next year. I'm interested because I've been living over here for 6 months and would like to replace my aging Mamasita. For me personally it's going to be great as I will get great selection. But overall, I fear the actual purchasing of 29ers will be a (big) dissapointment to the manufacturers. The races here (at least in my area near the alps) are very steep and long climbs on quite tame fireroads / forest roads. Ultralight 26ers rule this domain. The trail riding seems to be either big long tours on those roads or quite technical roots forest hiking paths. Again either a 26er hardtail or 26er all mountain bike would be the choice. Also, my impression is that local guys are obsessed with weight. Yes - 29ers can be light, but an equal 26er will always be lighter.
 

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Europe is a lot more than the alps and the weightweenies.. :)

From my experince, the 29er thing is rising quite fast over here. A lot of forum activity on this particular topic. I've also read a lot of 29er tests in UK magazines lately, so I guess somebody over there will buy them. Most of the German house brands are offering them now, or will have them soon. Merlincycles.co.uk even started to build 29er wheels a couple of months ago...

A lot of indicators pointing in the same direction... :thumbsup:
 

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i live in grenoble, capital of the French alps :) and in 2003 bought a full rigid and much heavier KarateMonkey to complement my superlight GT i-drive 26" to a . It was a revelation.
I now have a full quiver of 29"ers. I don't see why some others will not love the same 29" benefits like i did.
 

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I am living in Zurich Switzerland and the popularity growth is slow for 29ers. You can get about a third of the offering from the big name producers here, but that is expanding for 2012 "big time". For example, I was able to get a Trek/GF Paragon but I am bringing an Anthem X2 29er back from the states since only the X1 is sold here.
BUT! There is a small producer here in Zurich, have a look. Respect!
zaboobikes.com - the ride size - 29er only - zaboobikes.com
 

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Looks like there will be huge increase in 29ers available to Europeans next year. I'm interested because I've been living over here for 6 months and would like to replace my aging Mamasita. For me personally it's going to be great as I will get great selection. But overall, I fear the actual purchasing of 29ers will be a (big) dissapointment to the manufacturers. The races here (at least in my area near the alps) are very steep and long climbs on quite tame fireroads / forest roads. Ultralight 26ers rule this domain. The trail riding seems to be either big long tours on those roads or quite technical roots forest hiking paths. Again either a 26er hardtail or 26er all mountain bike would be the choice. Also, my impression is that local guys are obsessed with weight. Yes - 29ers can be light, but an equal 26er will always be lighter.
For me, the traction in Europe seemed to be about the same. When conditions deteriorated, I switched the Ikon to an Ignitor, and it was an improvement...
 

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@Motivated, what you are describing is typical for the German take on mountainbiking. Lame trails, no risks, no bike handling skills required. It's a shame, really... However, I doubt 29er sales will disappoint, because the racing culture has very little influence on that. Your media has picked up on 29ers and that will have the biggest effect.

That said, it would be nice if your trail builders and legislators took a good look at for instance the French, because they GET mountainbiking. They do not just get the touristic benefits of good MTB trails, but they do great justice to the bike handling part of the sport that pretty much elevates mountainbiking over road racing. And that goes for XC racing too.

It's not just the terrain, because that's pretty much equal at both sides of the border, it's what they do with it. The trails the French put in their races pretty much favour 29ers.

Luckily, living in pancake flat Holland, I have a choice and next year I am pretty sure I will return to races like the Raid the Jura and not some German 'schotter' marathon.

i live in grenoble, capital of the French alps :)
:thumbsup:
 

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@JeroenK I wouldent say its typical, the local MTB riders usally know some "hotspots" that are pretty tecnical, but seeing in the area where I live in (Baden-Württemberg) there are laws prohibiting riding on unpaved roads that are not at least 7ft wide :eekster: its understandable that a lot of "moutainbikers" stay on forest roads and bikepaths.One really silly thing you do see here are ppl riding thier $5k voll carbon MTBs (no clickpedals of course) only in the city,only on sunny,dry,warm days.One of the dudes I work with just HAD to have a plastic racebike just to sit it in front of the cafe where he meets his buddies,that thing has never even seen a dirt road :madman:
 

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@JeroenK I wouldent say its typical, the local MTB riders usally know some "hotspots" that are pretty tecnical, but seeing in the area where I live in (Baden-Württemberg) there are laws prohibiting riding on unpaved roads that are not at least 7ft wide :eekster: its understandable that a lot of "moutainbikers" stay on forest roads and bikepaths.
I read that in Bike-magazin... the 3 meter rule is a really sad thing... What I meant was that it is typical for races.

One really silly thing you do see here are ppl riding thier $5k voll carbon MTBs (no clickpedals of course) only in the city,only on sunny,dry,warm days.One of the dudes I work with just HAD to have a plastic racebike just to sit it in front of the cafe where he meets his buddies,that thing has never even seen a dirt road :madman:
That reminds me of Lake Garda where a lot of your countrymen rent a pretty expensive bike to let it loose on asphalt or trails that require no skills or stamina whatsoever. That tunnel trail that follows the lakeside from Riva is probably the most dangerous trail in the world, with all those rental bikes in a state of off-balance :eek: :D.
 

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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
The thing is - it seems most of the 2012 29ers in Europe are nice carbon hardtails. I think the racer in Germany will still choose 26" (lighter) and don't think that's too interesting for the non-racer in Germany either.

Good to know your take on German interpretation of mtb trails - I thought I just wasn't finding the right trails. There was one "mtb rennen" here that was actually 100% on paved road - just went up a steep hill. Since then I always ask the promoter, the % on dirt and road. Sounds like I need to ride in France, Italy, Switzerland.
 

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I read that in Bike-magazin... the 3 meter rule is a really sad thing... What I meant was that it is typical for races.

That reminds me of Lake Garda where a lot of your countrymen rent a pretty expensive bike to let it loose on asphalt or trails that require no skills or stamina whatsoever. That tunnel trail that follows the lakeside from Riva is probably the most dangerous trail in the world, with all those rental bikes in a state of off-balance :eek: :D.
Funny you mention that. I rode there this spring and on a rented 26`er. :D


Bocca di Fobia from Ketil Smith on Vimeo.
 
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