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I was talking to a guy at the LBS and I was talking to him about 29ers. We discussed the pros and cons. He said that 26 wheels are actually stronger than 29 inch wheels. And I saw on this site a guy twisted his spokes. Does this make your wheel that much stronger? How does one go about doing this? I was also told that there bigger/stronger tires made for 26 wheels that are made heavier riders, if there is what brands should I focus on (wheels and tires)? Thanks peoples.
 

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weak wheels?

The issue with 29" wheels is side to side strength. With the same hub the spokes form a narrower angle to the wheel, and the rim has more leverage against the spokes. A disc brake hub with a dished wheel makes it worse. Also the choice of tires for off road use is probably less than 10% of what's available for 26", especially in wider sizes. Something like a Rohloff internal gear hub that's large diameter, and has no dish for gears could make up for this. But that's about $1000 for the rear wheel alone. (That doesn't include the non-existent tires.) There are plenty of 26" 36 spoke wheels, and tires available. I f that's not enoiugh check out some tamdem builders for 40, and 48 spoke stuff. (Shimano Nexus hubs with 7-8 speeds aren't as strong, or expensive, and they're 36 hole.) It's probably "possible" to build a strong 29" rim, but if you can't get tires for it?????? Shwalbe has a wide 29er. I don't know who else, I think Gary Fisher uses Bontragers of some kind.
 

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UNITH said:
I was talking to a guy at the LBS and I was talking to him about 29ers. We discussed the pros and cons. He said that 26 wheels are actually stronger than 29 inch wheels. And I saw on this site a guy twisted his spokes. Does this make your wheel that much stronger? How does one go about doing this? I was also told that there bigger/stronger tires made for 26 wheels that are made heavier riders, if there is what brands should I focus on (wheels and tires)? Thanks peoples.
More spokes and a stronger rim will help if you have a 26 inch wheel bike. You can have about anything you want built, and find pre-built 36 spoke wheels marketed for freeride-type riding. These typically are for disc brakes.

As far as tires the ones designed for the same freeride-type market are stronger.

You will find plenty of tread types and rim choices if you shop in the down hill/freeride/dirt jumper product segments.
 

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29er will do fine ...

William P said:
The issue with 29" wheels is side to side strength. With the same hub the spokes form a narrower angle to the wheel, and the rim has more leverage against the spokes. A disc brake hub with a dished wheel makes it worse. Also the choice of tires for off road use is probably less than 10% of what's available for 26", especially in wider sizes. Something like a Rohloff internal gear hub that's large diameter, and has no dish for gears could make up for this. But that's about $1000 for the rear wheel alone. (That doesn't include the non-existent tires.) There are plenty of 26" 36 spoke wheels, and tires available. I f that's not enoiugh check out some tamdem builders for 40, and 48 spoke stuff. (Shimano Nexus hubs with 7-8 speeds aren't as strong, or expensive, and they're 36 hole.) It's probably "possible" to build a strong 29" rim, but if you can't get tires for it?????? Shwalbe has a wide 29er. I don't know who else, I think Gary Fisher uses Bontragers of some kind.
By default, a 26" wheel built with the same number of spokes will be "stronger" than a 29" wheel.

A 36 hole 29er should be just fine as far as strength goes if you're not hopping off big drops. You can get 42 spoke rims/hubs as well. This may be optimal.

As far as wheel dish goes, the problem is identical in the 29er and 26 worlds. The way to deal with it (if you're riding cassettes) is to get a rim with offset spoke wholes. This will cancel out the dish.

There is enough 29er rubber to keep people happy. WTB just came out with their 2.3 tire.

29er geometries supposedly work better for taller folks. The wheels also roll over obstacles better than 26ers. You also get a larger contact patch which gives you more traction.

So if you want a 29er, feel free to buy one. Just be warned that you'll pay a bit of a premium for 29er specific parts (frame, tires, rims, forks).
 
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