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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
i have a cannondale scalpel and am considering building a niner air 1X9 for winter riding in the Seattle area.

what is the theory regarding the 29er vs. 26er in wet/winter (technical mud/roots/wet) conditions. which is easier to ride, handles better and has good traction and speed?
 

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Ovaries on the Outside
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Meh. I think the traits you are looking for are more likely to be found in the tires on your bike and not so much the wheel size. I'm sure others will disagree vehemently. Still, do the Niner with WTB Stouts. Having two bikes never hurt anyone. Or go SS....
 

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Rider and Wrench
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umarth said:
Meh. I think the traits you are looking for are more likely to be found in the tires on your bike and not so much the wheel size. I'm sure others will disagree vehemently. Still, do the Niner with WTB Stouts. Having two bikes never hurt anyone. Or go SS....
I think umarth hit the nail on the head. Your tires and their compound will likely have a greater affect than the size as far as wet roots are concerned (nasty as they can be!). This being said in theory and as some test results have indicated (one of my mtb mags...) the 29er tire will have a larger contact area for a given tire all else being equal...

In a more practical sense a 29er may be a good match for rooty stuff- As far as "faster" mmm- well if you tend to be a "fast" rider who carries momentum well and your trails allow for this than a 29er would likely be a perfect fit. If you tend to use (drag) your brakes you will be fighting with the bigger hoops to get them going again (by your bike choice I would have to doubt a 29er would not be an asset to your ride style but you know what they say about assuming...)
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
knottshore said:
I think umarth hit the nail on the head. Your tires and their compound will likely have a greater affect than the size as far as wet roots are concerned (nasty as they can be!). This being said in theory and as some test results have indicated (one of my mtb mags...) the 29er tire will have a larger contact area for a given tire all else being equal...

In a more practical sense a 29er may be a good match for rooty stuff- As far as "faster" mmm- well if you tend to be a "fast" rider who carries momentum well and your trails allow for this than a 29er would likely be a perfect fit. If you tend to use (drag) your brakes you will be fighting with the bigger hoops to get them going again (by your bike choice I would have to doubt a 29er would not be an asset to your ride style but you know what they say about assuming...)
Good info -- thanks -- what do you think about bigger wheels/tires = more drag resistence in the mucky mud?
 

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RickRinaldo123 said:
Good info -- thanks -- what do you think about bigger wheels/tires = more drag resistence in the mucky mud?
Bigger in width or diameter? I like my tires tall and narrow for mucky conditions.
 

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Rider and Wrench
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RickRinaldo123 said:
Good info -- thanks -- what do you think about bigger wheels/tires = more drag resistence in the mucky mud?
On any bike rotational weight can have a major impact on it's ride, on a 29er the this is exponential - As far as mud (rocky?) if you have a tire that doesn't shed well and more surface area to hold mud then you might be in trouble... but there are so many tires out there today with specific purposes that you should be able to find one that others in your area have had success with. I know that even in the DE/MD/PA area mud is very specific and the best tire varies so I cannot pretend to know what will work best for you in Seattle, but the Conti Mnt king seems to garner a bit of sedding love with it's wide spacing and compound plus it is fairly light weight- I don't deal with constant mud so Am not sure the best one for you-

My first 29er build was not a huge success- I had returned to biking after a few years of JOB- KIDS -ETC and was trying out alot of different stuff to see what I like. I built a 29er hard tail with a decent component spec...except for wheels. I was in rather poor shape (not much better now I regret!) and it was mid winter so much would cling like crazy. I started out with 2.1 Maxxis Ignitors and in the conditions they caked like crazy and made turning the wheels a major effort. I changed them out to a 2.55 Weirwolf and liked them better but they are no lightweight on their own nor a mud tire. I finally told myself that the 29er was not going to work because my trails were to hard to keep momentum and the 29er made it hard to get it started over and over again (reality Check... I was out of shape and looking for excuses) - I sold it and fiddled with 26" F/S for a while until I built another 29er.
On my second venture and after alot of trial and error with different builds and info I gathered here and there I am very happy with how it performs in most conditions. In my opinion the lighter wheels on my latest 29er build really make a difference. I find overall it forces me to carry momentum better and not grab a handfull of brakes for no reason. I would say I am strictly XC but like the tecnical stuff of rocks, roots etc..
 

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What I'm about to say has no calculated theory behind it....purely subjective. I find that my 29er handles sand/mud/wet roots/rain a lot better than my 26er. Just feels a lot more stable than the 26er. I tend not to washout or get loose in wet/muddy conditions.
 
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