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Discussion Starter #1
Recent discussions regarding 26 vs 29ers have made me consider something.

How many of you buy stuff for you bike based on enhancing performance (defined as that which makes you more likely to reduce time needed to complete a loop or section of trail)?

How many of you buy stuff for your bike based on how it makes you feel? i.e. you may feel better about a green CK hub than you would about a relatively plain black but otherwise identical hub.

What I am getting at here is: How many people ride a 29er because they like the way it feels, but can not necessarily prove or demonstrate that it has any (time based)performance advantage? (lets not try to demonstrate this advantage here...OK?)

I can tell you, that I don't care about performance so much as feeling like a kid again.

I am guessing that for many its more about feel/looks than winning races.

but I am also guessing that many of you will not freely admit that to be true (if it is true).

Sometimes feeling fast is better than being fast...I dont want to start a fight here...really I just want to find out how many people are enjoying their bike like a toy and not a race machine.

One last thought...would you rather ride with someone that is more interrested in reducing lap times, or someone that wants to have fun?

Have fun.
 
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29 is it

A few years ago, I was just about ready to give up on the sport of cycling. I was too big for racing, and too big for even the largest XL production bikes....but then I got 29er'd and everything changed. I started having fun again and I had more options to refine the fit. Since then, I may not be faster, but there's nothing I'd rather do then spend a day on one of my bikes.....that thanks to 29inch wheels.
 

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Good topic!

Personally, I think attemptiing to quantify any pleasurable experience just takes the pleasure right out of it. As far as cycling goes, whether it's bike weight, lap times, watts generated, average speed, or calories burned, the farther away I get from numbers the happier I am. As someone who used to be a slave to his Cateye wireless, I can say that going "bare bars" has made a vast improvement in my rides, if not my riding.
 

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In FTF We Trust
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Yup, same sentiment here. I've enjoyed riding a lot for the last 11 or 12 years, but as my time started getting really taxed with work, weather and the birth of my now 3 year old son it was hard finding motivation to ride. I had been intrigued with the 29er "thing" and got a "cant pass it up" deal on a Fisher Mt Tam 29 demo and since I'm a bike whore I had to buy it. I came off of riding a Schwinn Rocket 88 Stage 1 and Kona Stinky and enjoyed the hell out of riding the aluminum hardtail contrary to my intuition. Riding the 29er re-lit my fire so to speak. I enjoyed it so much I had a custom hardtail frame built and just picked up a Sugar 293 late last October that I haven't had much chance to ride yet, but I did put a King headset on it :D . I also have a confession-I bought a Titus Super-Moto last fall too and I also love riding it, it's all good. I'm all about making the best use of my personal time, as limited as it is these days, and that doesn't seem to include training logs or heartrate monitors any more.
 

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Large wheels & one gear
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unit said:
Recent discussions regarding 26 vs 29ers have made me consider something.

How many of you buy stuff for you bike based on enhancing performance (defined as that which makes you more likely to reduce time needed to complete a loop or section of trail)?

How many of you buy stuff for your bike based on how it makes you feel? i.e. you may feel better about a green CK hub than you would about a relatively plain black but otherwise identical hub.

What I am getting at here is: How many people ride a 29er because they like the way it feels, but can not necessarily prove or demonstrate that it has any (time based)performance advantage? (lets not try to demonstrate this advantage here...OK?)

I can tell you, that I don't care about performance so much as feeling like a kid again.

I am guessing that for many its more about feel/looks than winning races.

but I am also guessing that many of you will not freely admit that to be true (if it is true).

Sometimes feeling fast is better than being fast...I dont want to start a fight here...really I just want to find out how many people are enjoying their bike like a toy and not a race machine.

One last thought...would you rather ride with someone that is more interrested in reducing lap times, or someone that wants to have fun?

Have fun.
Great topic! Here is my take.
First, I come from the Flatland Freestyle era. Back in the Mid/late 80's. I LOVED being on my bike! Then my twenties arrived and so did a interest in Mt biking. I kinda grew out of the freestyling at that point. Mt biking was fun but just a different avenue. Then the late 90's came and Mt bikes were in my blood. Now, I get my first SS a few months ago. Holy [email protected]!!! I feel like I did back in the 80's! But now it's on a mountain instead of a parking lot.

I ride to ride. I don't race (not that there's anything wrong with it, just not an interest to me). I buy parts that work and maybe a little on the bling side at times. But my bike list is not of the most "Elite" bikes. My FS give me the FS pleasure without breaking the bank. My SS just ROCKS! And now I am moving into the 29'r (SS of course) catagory. Why? Because I love bikes and I get goose bumps riding each one and the 29'r experience just adds to it. I don't think one is better than the other. It's just a different ride on each. I do lean on the SS side of things though. And if I can pick up a certain colored part to match at a good price I will....because I can. :p

And I would rather ride with someone who wants to have fun. Who doesn't mind stopping to take in the scenery or ride back up a ways to hit the jumps again on the way down. I ride solo alot because I like to play around, take my time and I absolutly hate pounding through a trail/loop. Anyways, sorry such a long winded responce here.
 

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Not too much into bling but I like a good looking bike. Im more into performance as far as gettin through rough stuff faster and with more comfort. I like stuff solid so not much of a weight weenie though Im not fond of a 30+ xc racer either. Im always lookin at the latest greatest for better performance. I also like the nostalgic stuff guys are buildin; they have character and style unlike the performance bikes most folks ride.
I like to ride with both racer types and for fun riders. If your lucky, your common riding buddies are both.and some days will be hardcore training and others will be ball bustin fun and skills days. I really think when your gettin burned out its time to hook up with the fun guys for a few rides. If it aint fun even bein 1st is the worst! If it is fun, even last is a blast! ;)
 

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unit said:
How many of you buy stuff for you bike based on enhancing performance (defined as that which makes you more likely to reduce time needed to complete a loop or section of trail)?
If one is relatively serious about racing, then that (speed) will always be a primary factor.

The law of dimishing returns still applies too though. Superlight wheels and tires reduce somewhat the amount of fun I can have on the race course, but they make me substantially faster so I consider them a must for my race bike. On the other hand, a 130 gram saddle would theoretically make me faster on the race course too, but vastly reduce the enjoyability of the ride, so you won't find one on my bike.

For general mountain biking I think it's pretty obvious most folks go with what is the most fun, hence the popularity of single speeds and long travel bikes. Generally speaking, neither is the fastest way to ride a trail, but is often the most fun (I'm giving the SS guys the benefit of the doubt here; I've never personally understood the attraction).

I prefer a mountain bike with big, fat, grippy tires, but would not consider for a second running my 2.5 Stick-E Nevegals in a race. I also prefer the ride of 29" wheels, but if I felt they were a noticable disadvantage for racing then I would probably not race on them. If at any point I become less serious about racing, doing it strictly for fun (rather than testing my limits and hopefully having fun while doing so), then I will definitely be racing on 29" wheels and tires as big as possible that don't make pedaling around a race course a chore. Not that those currently exist anyway :rolleyes: .
 

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I'll be buying a 29er Monocog when they come out; it'll be my first off-road bike. I'm mainly a roadie/commuter, though hardly a typical roadie, my main "road bike" will fit Exis with fenders. :cool:

I'm going with the 622 bsd wheels primarily to maintain wheelsize consistency, and because I'm somewhat tall (I ride around a 62-64cm road frame.)

I do consider comfort, utility, and (to some extent) aesthetics to be vastly more important than pushing the limits of performance.
 

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Good topic!

Can we be in both camps?

I dig my 29" custom bikes and really feel good on'em. But sometimes I go to the races and a couple of minutes makes a difference. So on my "race bike", I'd go way over to the "faster" side of the equation. But that doesn't mean I always want that, sometimes I ride with my wife on the roads and we stop, take pictures, and (of course) eat ice cream. So I'm goin' with BOTH! If that's OK.....
 

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Said Before

As a tall kid the 29er does it all for me: it fits better, feels better, allows me to ride more places and usually faster! That's fun in my book. It's "different" in a way that gets the other kids interested and talking. That's fun in my book. Some mean kids say bad things about it out of envy pure and simple. I hope they can also have fun someday, but maybe not TOO soon, okay?

If the 29 vs 26 arguments dissuade even one tall kid from dreams of parking his fit-compromised 26 then he's been done a great disservice.
 

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I love my 29er for the reason it is fun.
I also like my bike to look good.
I am also in the process of Jenny Craig'ing my bike to try to cut some of the weight on it to hopefully make it faster for the endurance type events I will be participating in this year. I am hoping hat a combination of me riding more and pushing myself towards being fitter and the lighter bike will allow me to more of a competitor and less of a participant. Mind you I wont be putting any ugly stuff on the bike in the quest for weight savings.

I WILL be going for the 135g saddle, 125g carbon bars and 600g tyres in the pursuit of extra speed (but only on race days).
 

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For me personally,

I cycle for one reason, and one reason only... It's fun. And there is nothing more fun than going fast. I spent nearly 15 years in the Sport class. And like MichiganClydesdale, "was just about ready to give up on the sport of cycling. I was too big for racing, and too big for even the largest XL production bikes" I too then got my first 29"er, and three weeks later was racing in the Expert class. I don't need any scientific data telling me which size wheel is faster. Heck, I don't even care if study after study shows that 26" wheels are faster. I KNOW what is best FOR ME.

NEVER going back!!!
 

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until somebody conducts a properly designed randomized blinded trial between the 2 it is all speculation based on at best, feeble data.

Not saying 29er are even better.....just that like pretty much everything we discuss here on mtbr (horst-link vs faux-bar, v-brakes vs disc brakes, Ti vs steel vs Al frames, etc, etc, etc....), at the end of the day, it is what your gut feel wants to go with that dictates what you (not me) likes best, period.

As such, on the average, I tend to like 29er hardtails over 26er hardtails. I have also realized, as silly as it may sound, that I particularly now hate the look of 26er hardtails....with their lack of sloping tube tube and smaller wheels....is just flat out bothers me; no data, no speculation, it just does.
 

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When I'm riding with my friends on a particulary sweet trail, especially at night, the last things on my mind are wheel size, efficiency, or data. Railing a bermed curve, finessing it through the rocks, and dropping into a creek crossing makes me feel like a kid again, and honestly, whether the wheels are 24, 26, or 29 inches just isn't even a part of the equation.
 

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Curious...

I finally ordered a 29er frame because I am curious... New things keep the adventure fresh for me. I don't think a 29 inch wheel is going to make me a better rider or make me any faster, but it sure is holding my interest. Same thing happened in '95 when I bought my first single speed... It looked fun, so I bought a frame. I still have that bike and I still ride it a lot. I bought a track bike in '99 becuse I'd ridden a few fixed gears and dag nabbit... it was fun! It still is fun and I still ride that bike a lot too.
I still haven't ridden a 29er, but it looks fun.
I work hard for my money and I want to spend it on something fun. I don't care if it's any faster than my 26" wheels. I'll probably still have my 29er in 2012 and talk about how much fun I have on it! :cool:
 

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I ride bikes to have fun.
I ride bikes for exercise.
I ride bikes to get to work.
I ride bikes to enjoy the machinery.
I ride bikes to enjoy the scenery.
I ride bikes for the challenge.
I ride bikes for the ease.
I ride bikes to show off.
I ride bikes to get to the park.
A few times a year I race, but I've never won (and don't care).
I ride bikes because I have for decades.
I ride bikes to feel like a kid (but heaven forbid I act like one, lest I be called immature -- but it's not an insult because it's what I strive for).
I ride bikes because my life is half under way, not half over.
I ride bikes because it makes me smile and laugh.

I ride bikes because I can't not.


And 29ers rule whoooooooooo! [big foam #1 finger waving in the air].
 

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Nat said:
I ride bikes to have fun.
I ride bikes for exercise.
I ride bikes to get to work.
I ride bikes to enjoy the machinery.
I ride bikes to enjoy the scenery.
I ride bikes for the challenge.
I ride bikes for the ease.
I ride bikes to show off.
I ride bikes to get to the park.
A few times a year I race, but I've never won (and don't care).
I ride bikes because I have for decades.
I ride bikes to feel like a kid (but heaven forbid I act like one, lest I be called immature -- but it's not an insult because it's what I stive for).
I ride bikes because my life is half under way, not half over.
I ride bikes because it makes me smile and laugh.

I ride bikes because I can't not.


And 29ers rule whoooooooooo! [big foam #1 finger waving in the air].
I don't think anyone could have put it any better. You are my hero for today... It's going in my calendar "Nat from MTBR hero for 3/4/06"
 

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velocipus said:
I don't think anyone could have put it any better. You are my hero for today... It's going in my calendar "Nat from MTBR hero for 3/4/06"
Thanks man.
 
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