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Reviewer/Tester
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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I know that I am saying something here that most of you 29'er riders already know.

However, after a ride that I had yesterday in damp conditions, I just had to say a few things about the 29'er wheels and tyres again.

We have had some *gasp* rain lately, yes, it has really rained here in AU... :) The creeks were running, the ground was wet and in some sections of the trail actually muddy !!

All the roots and rocks were slick, especially the roots. I was on the One Niner using Exiwolf's front and rear @ 30 psi.

Slippery was the word for the day.. :) Those exposed roots were really slick. A few times I found myself going sideways like I was on ice.

I ride this particular trail fairly regularly, because it's close enough to my home for me to just cycle to the trailhead and go for an hour ride between jobs.

So I know the trail like the back of my hand....but it's usually completely dry. Adding water makes it a whole new ballgame.

Some of the climbs I normally make were just not possible because of the lack of traction over the slippery roots and rocks. the trail was also made even more treacherous by the covering of wet slippery leaves.

However, what really impressed me was the ability of the 29'er wheels to get me through most sections without dumping me on my butt.

The Exi's were able to hang on pretty well, considering the conditions. They did slide a lot over the roots, but any tyre would have, I believe.

I came away from the ride with several things............................

I was wet and muddy, and so was the whole bike. I had a line of mud up the front of my shirt and up the back from wheel spray.. and a large red scratch across my left thigh which I didn't even feel when it happened.
My plastic bag which I had placed over the Brooks saddle was torn, so the saddle was a bit damp. I have no idea how it got torn...and my left eye was sore after a small twig hit my eyeball as I was negotiating a tight and very slippery part of the trail.

The thing that stuck in my mind on the ride home was: Damn ! these 29'ers are the ducks guts offroad. The big wheels just roll over so much stuff so easily. Even though I was going sideways a lot, I was also still going forwards too. The wheels and tyres just won't be easily stopped even in those slick and slippery conditions.

Sure, I was unable to get traction all the time, but that was more a cause of the conditions and tyres than the actual size of the wheels.

I just wanted to say again that 29'er wheels are a big step forward in offroad bicycling. That was really brought home to me again after yesterdays ride.



R.
 

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what a joke
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2,279 Posts
Thunder bolts, lightning, heavy rain at 8 45 am and my weekly night ride is only 9 hours away. 3 weeks in a row now we have had rain on a wednesday night!
 

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Harmonius Wrench
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8,254 Posts
I know what you mean on the "sideways" comments. I have noticed that also. I think that the bigger wheels have a more pronounced gyroscopic effect, which tends to keep you upright, even at slower speeds. I regularly would "slide out", or outright dump my 26 inch wheeled bikes in similar situations.

I had a couple of chances to experience this effect within the last 24 hours. The first time, it was muddy and 50 plus degrees (Fahrenheit). Today, it was an inch and a half of fresh snow over an icy base, temps in the mid twenties, with windchills at zero! Gotta love Mid West U.S. weather!
 

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Recovering couch patato
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14,017 Posts
When the bigger wheels fall over from sliding, they seem to just slow down that movement slightly better than 26" wheels. The wheels move in bigger, slower ways, and rider input is more often still in time to keep the bike under control.

It just makes my day when, for instance in a race, I come across a technical or slippery section, and I know that as I'm the only 29"er present, I'll probably also be the only one that can save himself the exhaustion or dismounting and hiking through it. I'm a cyclist, and try to keep the wheels turning as much as possible. Really makes my day, on a rainy muddy day.
"Wow, that looks deep, slippery and treaturous! Ok, I'll just ride it then."
 

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Dr Gadget is IN
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2,385 Posts
You got that right!

Cloxxki said:
When the bigger wheels fall over from sliding, they seem to just slow down that movement slightly better than 26" wheels. The wheels move in bigger, slower ways, and rider input is more often still in time to keep the bike under control.
Yes, I think that this is #2 good thing about 29er (#1 is rolling over things). Swapping between 26&29 the 26 feels like no feedback - have to watch and know how much to react - easy to over or under react - whereas the 29 I can feel the response to the trail and get a feeling of reaction to my actions.

The thought I had t'other night: frequency response. Every system has a characteristic response frequency - 29er is just a lower freq. You need to match your own personal mind/body response frequency with that of your amplifier (bike) so you get sync.
 

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Registered
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995 Posts
Gettin Freq-ey

This is fun to think about. What is the difference in response frequency range from a given 26" wheel to the same in 29"? & how does that effect the overall harmonic spectrum of the complete bike. Also, how do train myself to vibrate at those given frequency ranges to better harmonize with my machine? Of course, then I'd need dampeners & insulators to avert failure in the parts I'm in phase with. But then I could sing Beach Boys out on the trail, which would make it all worth while.

Tangents are good.
 

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Recovering couch patato
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14,017 Posts
I see 26"ers going through hard corners on the limit, I see them wandering, correcting multiple times. The 29"er seems to take the same corner without corrections. Perhaps the lower frequency allows the rider to correct before real wandering occurs. My feeling on the 29" is that of holding on tightly and just showing my faith, and it comes alright each time. What I do on my bike takes one of the best pro's on a 26"er.
My fellow countryman and former Olympic Champ Bart Brentjens rides his bike like it's a non-nervous 29"er, while it's really a stock 26"ers. He just knows to hit the fine line of the limit much better, and hardly wanders and rarely crashes.
 

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Reviewer/Tester
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6,176 Posts
Discussion Starter · #13 ·
Hmmm.. thats it.. yes.

I felt after todays ride, which was even more slippery than the day before, that the 29'er makes me 'seem' a better rider than I really am.

On the 26'ers, I would usually pay the price for my mistakes more frequently if I screwed a move up, but the 29'ers let me get away with the same mistakes without me having to pay.

Of course, if I really screw up on a tech move, I pay the price anyways, even the big wheels can't offset crass stupidity on my part, but even so, I get away with a lot more on the big wheels.

As far as 'frequency' goes... I dunno about that. I would call it "being in tune" with the 29'er wheels more closely than with 26'ers. The slower and 'lower' song that the 29'er 'sings' is more in tune with the way I like to ride.. :)

If that is "frequency" ... then yeah, it feels good.. :)

It's sorta like... a nice big single cylinder Manx Norton or Velocette Thruxton as opposed to a six cylinder Honda race bike.

The big single "resonates" in tune with my heart. :)


R.
 
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