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Zach Kowalchuk
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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I've been reading that they offer better control on trails and climbing. My friend said he could go faster on his singlespeed 29er rather than his geared bike.

Would a 29er be to big for me? I'm 14, approx 5'10" @200lbs.
 

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You're taller than I am and I've happily ridden small and medium 29ers for almost 5 years.

zadey1234 said:
I've been reading that they offer better control on trails and climbing. My friend said he could go faster on his singlespeed 29er rather than his geared bike.

Would a 29er be to big for me? I'm 14, approx 5'10" @200lbs.
 

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You are 14 and 5'10 so you are still growing. You are plenty tall for a 29er. I'm 6'1" and ride a 18" Sette Razzo. Probably the size you are looking at.
 

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808+909 = Party Good Time
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29ers have bigger wheels, but the sizing is really not much different from a 26er. The geometry is adjusted for it. I rode an 18" 26er and now I ride an 18" 29er.

I would say all round I much prefer riding a 29er for too many reasons. :)
 

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Faster in what context? I ride a ss 29er and i am faster on the uphills because i force myself to push a bigger gear than i would on my geared bike. The 29 inch wheels don't make the bike faster uphill, the gearing does.

Faster on the downhill.......Nope!!!! No way!! Once again it's the gearing that makes you slower, not the 29 wheels. You run out of gear and there is no way to keep up with someone with 27 gears, equal skills of course. If it's tight technical riding you have a better chance if you don't run out of gear.

Something to think about.... If you are comparing apples to apples. 26 ss vs 29 ss. Things get a little more interesting. I think the 29 might be fasterr on the downhill, especially if it's technical and rocky.

26 wheels take less effort to pedal so if you are climbing something that is all up, no rolling sections then i might think the 26 inch might be faster.

If you are fast on a 29 you are going to be fast on a 26 and vice versa.
It all comes down to personal preference

zadey1234 said:
I've been reading that they offer better control on trails and climbing. My friend said he could go faster on his singlespeed 29er rather than his geared bike.

Would a 29er be to big for me? I'm 14, approx 5'10" @200lbs.
 

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cbrock450 said:
Faster in what context? I ride a ss 29er and i am faster on the uphills because i force myself to push a bigger gear than i would on my geared bike. The 29 inch wheels don't make the bike faster uphill, the gearing does.

Faster on the downhill.......Nope!!!! No way!! Once again it's the gearing that makes you slower, not the 29 wheels. You run out of gear and there is no way to keep up with someone with 27 gears, equal skills of course. If it's tight technical riding you have a better chance if you don't run out of gear.

Something to think about.... If you are comparing apples to apples. 26 ss vs 29 ss. Things get a little more interesting. I think the 29 might be fasterr on the downhill, especially if it's technical and rocky.

26 wheels take less effort to pedal so if you are climbing something that is all up, no rolling sections then i might think the 26 inch might be faster.

If you are fast on a 29 you are going to be fast on a 26 and vice versa.
It all comes down to personal preference
I agree to a certain extent, however after having ridden my HT 29er and FS 26er back-to-back on the same trail I have to say the 29er is a better climber due to one factor...."traction". On the 26er I have to hold back a little on climbs to maintain constant traction, but on the 29er I've noticed I can apply as much pedal power as I can exert on climbs and not worry about tire slippage.
 

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a.k.a. BicycleKicks
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I'm wondering how many of you have honestly tried a 69er/96er and can compare the two fairly. I'm riding a 69er and think it's awesome. The 29 up front rolls over stuff and provides great cornering traction while the 26 rear wheel is lighter, has a shorter chain stay which shortens the wheelbase and provides quicker turning, allows the front to be manualled over logs and stuff easier, and provides the same gearing we're all used to. To me those are some pretty strong advantages.

I'm not wanting to derail the thread at all, but I'm honestly wondering how a full 29er can be that much better than the 69er. Note: I did do a back to back demo ride of both types of bikes and chose the 69er over the 29er.
 

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40hills said:
I'm wondering how many of you have honestly tried a 69er/96er and can compare the two fairly. I'm riding a 69er and think it's awesome. The 29 up front rolls over stuff and provides great cornering traction while the 26 rear wheel is lighter, has a shorter chain stay which shortens the wheelbase and provides quicker turning, allows the front to be manualled over logs and stuff easier, and provides the same gearing we're all used to. To me those are some pretty strong advantages.

I'm not wanting to derail the thread at all, but I'm honestly wondering how a full 29er can be that much better than the 69er. Note: I did do a back to back demo ride of both types of bikes and chose the 69er over the 29er.
I built up a 69er before I converted to a 29er. Overall the 69er wasn't too bad, however I do prefer the 29er for the type of trails I ride. The 29er's larger rear wheel allows me to maintain better momentum through rocky rooty stuff than the 69er and the biggest advantage is the rear climbing traction. I hardly ever spin out with a 29er, so I can put more pedal power down and climb a little faster.

Nevertheless, it all really depends on what type of trails you are riding. Rocky rooty technical climbs and descents favor the 29er, while tight technical singletrack favor the 69er.
 

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zadey1234 said:
I've been reading that they offer better control on trails and climbing. My friend said he could go faster on his singlespeed 29er rather than his geared bike.

Would a 29er be to big for me? I'm 14, approx 5'10" @200lbs.
Maybe for you and maybe not. Depends what you are into and what your priorities are. Yes, they do have more traction (due to more rubber being on the ground at any time). This translates to being able to climb some pretty amazing hills. It also allows you to stuff it into a corner at higher speed without washing out. I also tend to get less pinch flats. Big wheels hold momentum and roll over mid-size trail debris. It is a pretty amazing thing.

But, there are trade-offs. There is a bit more rolling resistance (remember that rubber gripping the ground). There is typically more rotational mass, so you may have a harder time accelerating and keeping them going. The wheelbase is typically longer, so on switchbacks it is a bit more like driving a truck instead of a sports car.

So what do you want? If climbing and cornering grip are more important a 29er may be right up your alley. If you like snappy handling and fast acceleration a 26er is in the cards. It really boils down to preference. I have spent a good amount of time on both platforms (currently on a 26 after about 2 years on 29ers). I like 26in for technical and aggressive riding, using 2.3-2.5in tires. I like 29ers for xc and trail riding, using 2.0-2.2 tires.
 

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AL29er said:
But, there are trade-offs. There is a bit more rolling resistance (remember that rubber gripping the ground). There is typically more rotational mass, so you may have a harder time accelerating and keeping them going. The wheelbase is typically longer, so on switchbacks it is a bit more like driving a truck.
Might want to check your facts there, DC.
 

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Zach Kowalchuk
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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
Mainly what I ride is XC, considering that's pretty much all there is in the river valley here in edmonton. Plus a lot of climbing. I do kind of miss having a full rigid, so if I did get a 29er it would have to be a rigid SS.

What are some decent low priced 29er SS rigids? If there is such a thing.
 

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err, 27.5+
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Le Duke said:
Might want to check your facts there, DC.
I have read articles arguing both sides of it. At the end of the day the "facts" don't mean squat if they aren't straight ;) My comments are based on my personal experience. Depending on what tires are used other's experiences vary. And again arguments have been posted both ways. The only thing that remains constant throughout is personal experience :D
 

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The Duuude, man...
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AL29er said:
But, there are trade-offs.

There is a bit more rolling resistance (remember that rubber gripping the ground). There is typically more rotational mass, so you may have a harder time accelerating and keeping them going.

The wheelbase is typically longer, so on switchbacks it is a bit more like driving a truck instead of a sports car.
Wow. Some people know just enough to be dangerous.

You're flat wrong, with no wiggle room to have even a glimmer of truth to what you're saying here.

Which is odd, because your other comments, which I omitted in my quotation, are fairly balanced and accurate.

Improvement or reduction of rolling resistance is one of the core strengths of a 29er. You're not only wrong about that, you're diagonally wrong. Can't get further from the truth.

On switchback handling, there's a hypothetical "switchback handling difference" between a very short wheelbase and a very long wheelbase - of bikes of any wheelsize. Note also that 26'er come in longer or shorter wheelbases, as do 29ers. Not so much that most people would notice. Certainly not between 2 otherwise equal bikes, differing only in wheel diameter. You're fighting a paper dragon here, Friend-o.

To suggest the difference in otherwise similar bikes is "sports car vs truck" in handling of tight corners is Wreckless at best, and bold-faced-BS at worst.

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The reality is superior rolling resistance (certainly enough to feel), and a reduction in "switchback handling" that is so small, it will most of the time not be within the threshold for detection (ie, makes no diference as to if you make the switchback or not - when compared to an otherwise equivalent 26er).

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Your above defense that "it's been argued both ways"...or that "articles say 29er's have more rolling resistance" is completely hollow. That's equivalent to the propoents of Intelligent Design claiming that there's a "debate in the scientific community" over evolution, and that Intelligent Design is a "competing theory" to Evolution. Uhhhhhh, NO.
 

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nOOb
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Tires make the bike. My 29er feels like it rolls sluggishly compared to my 26" bike. Bontrager XDX on the 29 and Super X's on the 26". It feels like I have to be at a certain speed before the 29er "unclips" if that's the word. I am looking for a better rolling tire right now, anyone have impressions of the Maxxis Ignitors in a 2.2"?
 

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808+909 = Party Good Time
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zadey1234 said:
Mainly what I ride is XC, considering that's pretty much all there is in the river valley here in edmonton. Plus a lot of climbing. I do kind of miss having a full rigid, so if I did get a 29er it would have to be a rigid SS.

What are some decent low priced 29er SS rigids? If there is such a thing.
Best bang for buck are

GT Peace 9r
Redline Monocog
 

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The larger 29" wheels have less friction than a smaller 26" wheel so the 29" wheel wins in that respect. The fact that the 29" wheel carries more weight/mass further from the rotation of the hubs axis means it has a greater moment of inertia though. This equates to being harder to "spin" the bigger wheels up to speed than a smaller wheel. Once those big wheels are spun-up though, less friction allows the 29" wheels to carry speed a lot better. Its noticeable, and that inertia once in motion also helps carry you across and over obstacles a lot better than a smaller wheel.

Another example of big vs small relates to rollerblade wheels. Back in the early 90's I was particpating in a few local roller rally/races and decided that I would change-up my 76mm wheels on my rollerblades for a set of 80mm wheels with better bearings. Was I ever surprised at the difference in low speed responsiveness!! Man it was noticeably tougher spinning those 80mm wheels up than the 76mm wheels. Once cruising though, I could really fly and I was pretty glad I had upgraded my bearings as well. Same principle basically, although I do not really notice the same delta in effort required to spin-up the 29ers that I felt with the skate wheels. Having moved back and forth between 26" and 29" a couple of times now, the value of the 29" wheels far outweighs the negatives, and I am sold. Thats my experience for what its worth.
 

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Wow!

My experience is different. My 29er geared hardtail goes downhill WAY easier and faster then my geared hardtail 26er, no comparison at all. The larger wheels roll over obstacles easier and the bike is much more sure footed due to the additional surface area. I feel you must have something wrong with your setup if you are not getting the same results. Of course all trails are extremely rocky, I live in Virginia where mountain bikes really get tested, not like the west coast where you can ride road bikes on the trails. Climbing is different. At first, climbing was way harder because of the added surface area contacting the ground requiring more effort to turn the pedals, also the added weight doesn't help much. However, after riding the 29er and getting in better shape because of those issues, I find it is a much better climber and I am now in much better shape. My weekly 30- 50 mile road bike rides are a breeze now. Just my $0.02. I'm building up a 29er for my 72 year old father!

cbrock450 said:
Faster in what context? I ride a ss 29er and i am faster on the uphills because i force myself to push a bigger gear than i would on my geared bike. The 29 inch wheels don't make the bike faster uphill, the gearing does.

Faster on the downhill.......Nope!!!! No way!! Once again it's the gearing that makes you slower, not the 29 wheels. You run out of gear and there is no way to keep up with someone with 27 gears, equal skills of course. If it's tight technical riding you have a better chance if you don't run out of gear.

Something to think about.... If you are comparing apples to apples. 26 ss vs 29 ss. Things get a little more interesting. I think the 29 might be fasterr on the downhill, especially if it's technical and rocky.

26 wheels take less effort to pedal so if you are climbing something that is all up, no rolling sections then i might think the 26 inch might be faster.

If you are fast on a 29 you are going to be fast on a 26 and vice versa.
It all comes down to personal preference
 

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Daniel the Dog
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For me: comfort

I find the 29er really comfortable. But, for climbing and descending technical terrain I'm looking for a 26er with bouncers on both ends. The 26er is going to have a 11% easier gear then a 29er. I think the 26er is a better performer in more terrain, but that is just my opinion....and obviouly varies depending on my day :) and mood....

Jaybo
 

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I've gone:

rigid 26" for 15 yrs
fs 26" for 7 yrs
rigid 29" for a month or so

I find myself going much faster on the rigid 29er than the fs 26". Much. I was so much faster over a 5 mile fire road climb that I thought even if I was slower down the hill the overall time would still be faster. It actually turned out I was faster down the hill by a little bit. Granted this was a fairly easy fire road, but a pretty tough 1700ft of ascent/descent.

I have a lot more to try on it, but I'm of the mind at the moment that I will generally be a lot faster up and very close to the same down. The rigid forces you to handle the bike instead of just going through stuff.

Someone said something about their area being rocky, unlike the west where you can ride a road bike on the trails. Ridden in Ca. much? I doubt it.
 
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