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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Let's ignore descending and technical singletrack, and cornering, and everything else for a moment.

To those of you who own and ride your full suspension 29ers often and don't live in the flatlands, how have they felt on very long forest road (i.e. gravel or dirt roads) climbs? In particular, I'm wondering about climbs of at least 2,500 feet over 5 or more miles? Climbs that seem to go on forever. Or, even better, climbs of 5000 feet and 10 miles or more.

Do you find your bike to be any harder/heavier to climb with for that duration than a similarly set up 26er.

Follow up question: would you do something like the Kokopelli Trail, E-100, or TransRockies on it?

Thanks in advance for the answers. The money you save might be my own.
 

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Did the TransAlp on a 29er

I rode my 30 lbs Sugar 292 at the TAC06. There were plenty of 2-3 hr climbs.
Most days started with a 4000'/7mile climb and by mid day we had a 2nd such treat.
I only rode the 29er so I can't compare but my main conclusion for these long climbs
is that it isn't so much the wheel size nor the bike weight as much as the saddle.
If the saddle is just a tad uncomfy you will hurt. Find the most comfortable saddle
for long climbs and forget about anything else.
 

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With such long climbs, I believe in setting the bike up for it especially. Seat forward, maybe even tilted forward a bit. With the seat forward, you gain back your ability to spin a high cadence, plus the front wheel stays put better. I even think it improves rolling resistance from weight distribution.
If the FS has a lockout, it should roll better and hold momentum better than a small wheeled bike. Didn't Mavic have people test wheels and get feedback that the heavier wheels climbed best?
 

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Cloxxki said:
With such long climbs, I believe in setting the bike up for it especially. Seat forward, maybe even tilted forward a bit. With the seat forward, you gain back your ability to spin a high cadence, plus the front wheel stays put better. I even think it improves rolling resistance from weight distribution.
Are you talking about those long, steady grinder climbs from the beach to the field in the Netherlands where you have to climb 30 feet over the first 3 miles?:D

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Cloxxki said:
With such long climbs, I believe in setting the bike up for it especially. Seat forward, maybe even tilted forward a bit. With the seat forward, you gain back your ability to spin a high cadence, plus the front wheel stays put better. I even think it improves rolling resistance from weight distribution.
If the FS has a lockout, it should roll better and hold momentum better than a small wheeled bike. Didn't Mavic have people test wheels and get feedback that the heavier wheels climbed best?
If your bike is set up properly there should be absolutely NO reason to have a different setup for climbing than you would for the rest of your riding. Period. End of story. Sorry Cloxxki.
 

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Put me in the "missed the boat" column.
I wish I woulda had a 29'er at two of the races you mentioned (E100 and TR). It would have been so much better than the little wheels on the ups and down. I was a hard sell on the concept and I went in kicking and screaming, but I have seen the light
Oh well, there's always next year (I mean season).
 

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hhhmmmm

teamdicky said:
Put me in the "missed the boat" column.
I wish I woulda had a 29'er at two of the races you mentioned (E100 and TR). It would have been so much better than the little wheels on the ups and down. I was a hard sell on the concept and I went in kicking and screaming, but I have seen the light
Oh well, there's always next year (I mean season).
A question RE: hard sell & going in kicking and screaming

Had you ridden a 9er and still had the above feelings or were those feelings a result of doing the math in your head instead of riding one? I also see that you race. Was that a factor...ie. none of the big names are doing it? Just curious. After about 75' of riding a Karate Monkey about 3 years ago was enough for me to understand the overall efficiency of 29" wheels. I have friends that feel as though it is some sort of fad, or akin to Bio-Pace or the Browning Tranny...then they try one and well, you know the answer to that....

Cheers!
 

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cluster_tolerance said:
A question RE: hard sell & going in kicking and screaming

Had you ridden a 9er and still had the above feelings or were those feelings a result of doing the math in your head instead of riding one? I also see that you race. Was that a factor...ie. none of the big names are doing it? Just curious. After about 75' of riding a Karate Monkey about 3 years ago was enough for me to understand the overall efficiency of 29" wheels. I have friends that feel as though it is some sort of fad, or akin to Bio-Pace or the Browning Tranny...then they try one and well, you know the answer to that....

Cheers!
It was a combo of many things:

I wanted a big front tire for riding Pisgah. This was the first year I felt a tire was available for the type of riding I love.
I WAS a 26" UST fanatic. Now that tire volume is increasing I feel safe running the kind of PSI I enjoy.
I test rode my first 29'er back in the spring of 2005. It wasn't a satisactory experience.
I loved my 26", and all the bikes I did demo never had the same fun factor. I am now better able to pinpoint (with help) what exactly was wrong with most of the bikes I rode, and I am learning from them.
Big names not doing it? Dan J and Matt F were on the top two steps of the Ultra podium last year (above me). They were both on big wheels. I'm not saying I would have beat them had I been on big wheels, but I got to witness whaht they could do on their 29'ers up close. I've already re-hashed a mess of last season and realized how much of a difference it would have made.
Screw big name NORBA/UCI riders. I don't think much of what they do translates directly to the type of racing I do.
I always figured there was something to it. I've been lurking here since this forum started. Now I know better.
 

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cool...

teamdicky said:
It was a combo of many things:
Thanks for the reply...before I rode one(29") I kinda considered it a hybrid. ((Side note: Do you remember when MTBaction came out with City Bike Action? It was a mag dedicated to hybrids and boardwalk jaunts. <-- sad times!)) I rode a Bianchi Bear? or Griz? in the early 90's and felt like the bike would crumple beneath me. I was on rocky High Sierra trails. So when I saw them again I knida thought the same. I went from the 26" TimberWolf to a 2.3 Exi and the exi felt more plush...it seems like a true 2.5" tire might be overkill, but I have yet to try one...

Roll On!
 

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For example here are the times from the last enduro race I did.:

1 Garth Prosser 4:45
2 Jacob McGahey 4:45:25
3 Bob Koerber 4:57:32
4 Dennis Helton 5:02:27
5 Rich Dillen 5:03

My hands were in terrible pain on the long descents from racing at the 24 hour Worlds one month prior to this race. I had to really hold back on the DH's, and I could barely hold onto the bars hard enough to get leverage while climbing up the nasty doubletrack. I got beat the %*&* up. I have no doubts that I would have had a better time on a 29'er.
Enough for top three? I'll never know.
 

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cornfish said:
If your bike is set up properly there should be absolutely NO reason to have a different setup for climbing than you would for the rest of your riding. Period. End of story. Sorry Cloxxki.
I respectfully disagree.
Bikes with specific geometries for rolling terrain (XC), downhill (DH/FR/AM), but not for long climbs? Ask a Swiss hillclimber.
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
Good to hear, TeamDicky, at least for me. Sorry that you have some regrets about your biek choice. I've seen your name on the TR forums (I think). I'm planning on doing TR this year on a 29er and now that my frame order has been delayed by the manufacturer, I'm starting to have second thoughts. You just laid them to rest. Awesome.
 

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Good luck

teamdicky said:
I'll never know.
But you won't Die Wondering!

In your future race endeavors.

I raced in the mid 80's and it forced me to loathe the bike so I moved to Yosemite for some real adventure. Somehow, years later I ended up back on the bike and now that I live on the corner of Space and Time with more K of trail than I can ride in my lifetime, I choose to base my bike choice and style to fit my needs. All day on the bike in unfamiliar terrain. The 29 gig hits the nail on the head for me like it does you, just different endeavors.....ahhh, the joy of cycling...Many things, Many Ways...the best riding in the world is inbetween your ears.

Have a good Season.
 

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BruceBrown said:
Are you talking about those long, steady grinder climbs from the beach to the field in the Netherlands where you have to climb 30 feet over the first 3 miles?:D

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LOL:lol:

Also sounds like this last October's Tour of the White Mountains in AZ.
A whopping 1,500' of climbing over the 35 mile fireroad loops.:skep:
(this was a last minute course reroute due to tons of rain on the singletrack.)
 

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Cloxxki said:
I respectfully disagree.
Bikes with specific geometries for rolling terrain (XC), downhill (DH/FR/AM), but not for long climbs? Ask a Swiss hillclimber.
When i lived in Grenoble (in the midlle of the alps), my saddle was setup for climbing, in front and titled down, just like cloxxky said.

No i live in a more flat palce (paris), and my sadlle is more on the rear and horizontal. I will put it back in climbing mode for the alps races this summer.
 

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I'll be doing the TR on the big rig as well. As for climbing, while on vacation I did the Maui hill climb 39miles of pavement ~10000 feet of elevation gain, michelin cyclocross tires on a GF hartail last year, 'twas my first ever ride on a 29er. What a stupid thing to do as it confused the hell outta me for the last 10 months and now I am getting rid of anything 26er related. Why did it take so long to see the light? I know.... I got rid of MBA and subscribed to dirt rag.
 
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