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artistic...
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Discussion Starter #1
with no experience w/ 29ers, other than riding a road bike for the last 3yrs, i (humbly) ask: how do 29rs handle tight trails, drops, small jumps etc...?
 

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Recovering couch patato
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Everything wheel-related grows by some 10%, except wheelbase. The effect on handling in tight stuff depends more on geometry than on wheelsize, IMO. Drops feel very stable, too easy really. But don't think you'll be able to do neat tricks in mid-air, that won't work very well with these wheels.

Don't think 29" has ANYTHING to do with road bikes. They so happen to have the same rim size. As do recumbents and BMX, 24" kid's bikes and 24" Freeride bikes, 26" kid's bikes and 26" mountainbikes, etc. Go ask on the DH/FR forum how to compare a 24" hucking machine to your past 24" experience, the bike your dad bought you for your 9th birthday. ;-)

Walk into the nearest Fisher dealer and ask for a demo bike, that should give you a nice idea of the main differences.

My fastest bike ever for tight singletrack is my 22" (23.6" really) surly Karate Monkey 29". No 26" bike can compare. Might be different for someone else, but I'm using my 26" bikes for drivetrain parts now, it's not like I'll be needing them any lifetime soon.

Good luck, hope any of this helps!

J
 

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artistic...
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Discussion Starter #3
thanks

Cloxxki said:
Everything wheel-related grows by some 10%, except wheelbase. The effect on handling in tight stuff depends more on geometry than on wheelsize, IMO. Drops feel very stable, too easy really. But don't think you'll be able to do neat tricks in mid-air, that won't work very well with these wheels.

Don't think 29" has ANYTHING to do with road bikes. They so happen to have the same rim size. As do recumbents and BMX, 24" kid's bikes and 24" Freeride bikes, 26" kid's bikes and 26" mountainbikes, etc. Go ask on the DH/FR forum how to compare a 24" hucking machine to your past 24" experience, the bike your dad bought you for your 9th birthday. ;-)

Walk into the nearest Fisher dealer and ask for a demo bike, that should give you a nice idea of the main differences.

My fastest bike ever for tight singletrack is my 22" (23.6" really) surly Karate Monkey 29". No 26" bike can compare. Might be different for someone else, but I'm using my 26" bikes for drivetrain parts now, it's not like I'll be needing them any lifetime soon.

Good luck, hope any of this helps!

J
thanks.
i've been on hardtails only and prefer short wheelbased bikes, like 41 to 41.5 max. i ride small to medium sized frames. looking at 29ers geometry tables i found 42 to 43in wb's and thought: :"this is bad..." . at the same time, i don't like susp forks and the bigger wheel is more comfortable. so, the next bike will be either a cx or a 29er with drop bars
 

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Recovering couch patato
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My experience is that the same wb with 0.5º steeper head angle makes all the difference. I need my wheelbase to be able to brake later on steep dh's, and walk fewer on steep climbs. The added wheelbase for a 29" bike doesn't have to be an more than 10-20mm. Fisher bikes are long, though very ridable in tight stuff. If you like drop bars, the Surly Karate Monkey geometry suit suit you prefectly. Really short wb AND steeper head angle, superb tight stuff handling and probably the most popular true mtb on earth to build up with drop bars and a rigid fork.
 

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artistic...
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Discussion Starter #5
ok, the ugly, politically incorrect question:

Cloxxki said:
My experience is that the same wb with 0.5º steeper head angle makes all the difference. I need my wheelbase to be able to brake later on steep dh's, and walk fewer on steep climbs. The added wheelbase for a 29" bike doesn't have to be an more than 10-20mm. Fisher bikes are long, though very ridable in tight stuff. If you like drop bars, the Surly Karate Monkey geometry suit suit you prefectly. Really short wb AND steeper head angle, superb tight stuff handling and probably the most popular true mtb on earth to build up with drop bars and a rigid fork.
humm... huh... is it TOO heavy? i'm not counting grams(on a $450 frame, i shouldn't.) but... i'm spoiled on high end steel rides. not that i want to spend major bucks, cause i can't right now...
 

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Recovering couch patato
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I'm like you, spoiled. But I'm KM owners will agree that the ride is amazing.
High-end often mean "as light as safe". This doesn't mean "fastest frame possible for this amount of money", though perhaps lightest. A few grams extra in the frame, to my 87kg 500W me, mean more pedaling efficiency. I love to save grams (ask around on here about my light bikes fetish), but a frame isn't worth (and costly to boot) to save grams on. A frame is also just 10-20% of the complete bike, even the heaviest frame can be built to be a pretty light and blindingly fast bike.
The fastest 26" mtb frame I ever had (in terms of road laptimes and feel) was a ~'92 Giant. Heavy steel allt he same. Lightweight Giants ahve never brought me much speed, too flexy. They never broke on me, though, but I bent the '92 Terrago around a traffic sign during a collision with a 60mph car.
In short, if the frame is efficient, you won't notice an extra 1000g until you put it on a scale.
 

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artistic...
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Discussion Starter #7
yeah... the ride is the deal.

Cloxxki said:
I'm like you, spoiled. But I'm KM owners will agree that the ride is amazing.
High-end often mean "as light as safe". This doesn't mean "fastest frame possible for this amount of money", though perhaps lightest. A few grams extra in the frame, to my 87kg 500W me, mean more pedaling efficiency. I love to save grams (ask around on here about my light bikes fetish), but a frame isn't worth (and costly to boot) to save grams on. A frame is also just 10-20% of the complete bike, even the heaviest frame can be built to be a pretty light and blindingly fast bike.
The fastest 26" mtb frame I ever had (in terms of road laptimes and feel) was a ~'92 Giant. Heavy steel allt he same. Lightweight Giants ahve never brought me much speed, too flexy. They never broke on me, though, but I bent the '92 Terrago around a traffic sign during a collision with a 60mph car.
In short, if the frame is efficient, you won't notice an extra 1000g until you put it on a scale.
handling first, speed next, paint and then weight.. ok, project: KM. probably geared...
cool.
 

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You need to ride one

I love my 29" bike but I can't wheelie as well or bunny hop as well. But you should see me climb steep hills. I have a 26" rear/29" front wheel SS bike, it's kinda neat-I feels more like a 26" bike when wheelie dropping. You can make one easily with any 26" suspension frame with a non-suspension corrected rigid fork...or the cheap dimensions rigid 26" fork that can run a 29" wheel (that's what I have). That big wheel is worth checking out-
 

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get down!
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look around man, I got my KM for like 330 plus shipping including the fork...might make your shopping experience easier. I too was a weight weenie but the frame rides great, I couldn't be happier.
 

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highly visible
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colker1 said:
handling first, speed next, paint and then weight.. ok, project: KM. probably geared...
cool.
No question about it, the weight is an issue. I gained about 3.5 pounds going from a lightweight steel frame to my KM. I'd guess a bit over 2 pounds of the increase was due to the mass of the KM frame itself, and a bit over 1 pound was due to the switch to disc brakes (including the heavier hubs required). This is ABSOLUTELY a weight difference I can feel (especially last weekend when I had to lift it over fences several times) but to me it was worth it because I really like the 29" concept better, and the KM is the only way I can afford it right now.

Plus the geometry is great - it actually handles BETTER on tight singletrack than my old bike, and the WB is only about 0.4" longer. The handling is definitely different in terms of how you use body english and shift your weight, but once I got it (didn't take long) it was great.
 

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A hopped on pop.
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Hey GlowBoy, question on you KM setup...

GlowBoy said:
No question about it, the weight is an issue. I gained about 3.5 pounds going from a lightweight steel frame to my KM. I'd guess a bit over 2 pounds of the increase was due to the mass of the KM frame itself, and a bit over 1 pound was due to the switch to disc brakes (including the heavier hubs required). This is ABSOLUTELY a weight difference I can feel (especially last weekend when I had to lift it over fences several times) but to me it was worth it because I really like the 29" concept better, and the KM is the only way I can afford it right now.

Plus the geometry is great - it actually handles BETTER on tight singletrack than my old bike, and the WB is only about 0.4" longer. The handling is definitely different in terms of how you use body english and shift your weight, but once I got it (didn't take long) it was great.

I saw a picture of your KM in the "roll call" thread. I am planning to build a single speed KM up with discs and wanted to know if you are having any axle slippage on you drivetrain (saw that you are using what look like XT hubs and skewer). I may go a regular 8/9 speed QR Hope XC or with the Woodman SS cassette bolt-on hub. Nice ride by the way!!!
 
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