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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi all,

Considering a 29er -- probably a Fisher as I like bikes with long top tubes. However, one of the races I enjoy does not allow 29" wheels. It's the Ski to Sea race in Bellingham, WA. I know it's just one event (so far), but it's one I really enjoy. Anyone else encounter events that don't allow 29ers? Anyone racing a 29er XC?
 

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I would protest it. Or just show up with my bike and ride.
"All bicycles must have 26" wheels. Cyclecross (sic) and road style bicycles will not be allowed. Tri-bars are allowed."​
Goofy rules. They would probably question dropbars.

Only bike-type limit in the road bike leg is no recumbents.

You can use a 29er in any XC race you want.
 

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Here in the Netherlands, land of the UCI, some smalltime local streetrace organisors feel like god intheir own little race, and want to reinforce that feeling by using their power to enforce their opinion as law. They don't allow 28 and 29", only "real" mountainbikes. They think it's an unfair advantage, 29" is pretty much a road bike, even with the enforced knobby tires for all competitors. It's the same kind of people that are soooo convinced 29" can't be pulled through a corner offroad, let alone be accelerated out of it. Only good for loooong smoooth straights.
At one point I was one of the very few 29" owners in my country, so despite the big riot around the UCI law change, I kindof take their ruling personally. One day I'll ridicule these people on a big public forum, when all you can buy in a store for over $1000 is 29".
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
shiggy said:
I would protest it. Or just show up with my bike and ride.
"All bicycles must have 26" wheels. Cyclecross (sic) and road style bicycles will not be allowed. Tri-bars are allowed."​
Goofy rules. They would probably question dropbars.

Only bike-type limit in the road bike leg is no recumbents.

You can use a 29er in any XC race you want.
I sent an email to the organizers and asked, in a nice way, "why?" I pointed out that NORBA and UCI allow 29" wheels. I got the nice reply:

I will bring it up at our next race meeting, Monday...and will advise...Thanks for the input..
By the way, I've only done the "downhill" (really the "uphill", as you max your HR climbing up a black diamond slope with skis over your shoulder) and running legs so far. Haven't seen exactly how the course is run or why in the world you would put tri-bars on a MTB.
 

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OneGearGuy said:
i like the organizers admission that bigger wheels are an unfair advantage.
some folks will never figure out that they can have the same advantage- go get your own!! :D
The "rules" also do not allow 24" wheels. Goofy.
The mtb leg of the event is hardly on tough terrain from the description: river **** road, dirt road, beach.
 

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Try find a wheel that measures 26" in any direction. Rules are made up stoopid. And if you say "oh, 26" including tire of course", than taller tires than 44mm are also banned. 559rims are 22.5" across. 700c is 25". When you order a wheel at the LBS, then don't be disappointed to be charged extra for the tires that make it cross the 26" barrier, a wheel larger than 25" is extremely rare.
 

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On the road ...

Cloxxki said:
Here in the Netherlands, land of the UCI, some smalltime local streetrace organisors feel like god intheir own little race, and want to reinforce that feeling by using their power to enforce their opinion as law. They don't allow 28 and 29", only "real" mountainbikes. They think it's an unfair advantage, 29" is pretty much a road bike, even with the enforced knobby tires for all competitors. It's the same kind of people that are soooo convinced 29" can't be pulled through a corner offroad, let alone be accelerated out of it. Only good for loooong smoooth straights.
At one point I was one of the very few 29" owners in my country, so despite the big riot around the UCI law change, I kindof take their ruling personally. One day I'll ridicule these people on a big public forum, when all you can buy in a store for over $1000 is 29".
On the road, road bikes are an advantage over mountain bikes. On trails, I say let people ride whatever they like so long as it doesn't have a motor. So if someone wants to custom fashion a 34" tire bike, they should be allowed.
 

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I totally agree with you. And actually the UCI road regulations are like a big book, where the MTb regs just say 29 inch tires max, both the same size. Still very stupidly worded, but still more simple than the road bike, with angles, set backs, bar bends, tribar extentions, etc, etc. Oh, the road bike also has a 700mm or so max tire diameter, interestingly NOT measured in inches last time I checked. Max tire with of 35mm also.

Let the terrain decide what the ideal bike is. Chances are, it's going to have a widish handlebar and fat tires, just what you need to tell the difference from a road bike.
And then, why should a bike "look" in a certain way? With 2 unmotorized wheels of which the front steering, it's a BIKE!
 

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Cloxxki said:
Let the terrain decide what the ideal bike is. Chances are, it's going to have a widish handlebar and fat tires, just what you need to tell the difference from a road bike.
And then, why should a bike "look" in a certain way? With 2 unmotorized wheels of which the front steering, it's a BIKE!
Agreed. Even the no-'cross-bikes rule is stupid. If someone wants to take a chance on banging up a rim or themselves on the offroad section so they can take pull ahead on the road section, let 'em! As long as you're not using a motor, and you're not caching a set of different wheels/tires along the way so you can secretly swap when when you switch from offroad to road or whatever, who cares? Let the best combination of rider and equipment win.
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
OK, here's the reply from the race organizers (the Bellingham Chamber of Commerce):

Sorry it took us a little to get back to you. We are in the mist of the chaos of preparing for Ski to Sea. STS feels that the 29" wheels have an advantage over the 26" wheel. Therefore, they are sticking to the rule of 26" wheels. Sorry for the inconvenience.
I guess because it's a non-technical course, they feel cyclocross or 29ers will just fly through it. Might be dumb, but there it is.
 
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