Just so you know: you are no higher off the ground on a 29er than a 26er. A 29er has greater BB drop putting the BB the same height off the ground as a comparable 26er. Chances are you were actually higher off the ground on the Reign because its BB is probably higher than the 29er. Everything else, bar height, etc can be adjust to be the same in proportion as a comparable 26er. The only thing that is different is the BB's relationship to the axles (which accounts for the "sitting in" feeling on a 29er) and the wheelbase which can be longer than a comparable 26er due to the 1.5" larger wheel radius.+1 to what zebra said. But from what I could tell the difference between my dad's bike, a Niner, 29" wheels and my bike, a Giant Reign, 26" wheels (I know very different bikes, but I wasn't comparing the suspension) was that the Niner did go over bumps better, but it was harder to do tight turns. Also I didn't like the feeling of being higher off the ground, it made me feel more prone to crashing, but maybe that's just something you get used to. I can see the advantages to a 29er, but personally I wouldn't buy a 29er, but I'm a downhill first, climbing 2nd
And this. New 29ers are really amazing. The geometry and components have come a longgggggggggggg way.I own a Nomad and a Blur LTc, and test ridden the Tallboy LTc. I can't tell any difference between the two LTc's in the steering department. I actually forgot I was on a 29er, until I plowed it over rocks. Same trail back to back on the two LTc's, the 29er was WAY smoother and floated over the chunder way better. I was able to turn those big wheels w/o any clue as to their diameter.
That will be $0.02, thanks!