Mountain Bike Reviews Forum banner
1 - 20 of 20 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
9 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi all, New to the board. Thought I would come here for some advice. I am a road biker. I probably ride about 100+ miles a week when the weather cooperates. I was a BMXer for many many years till my body could no longer take the abuse. Im now 36 years old and miss the trails. I'm not racing motocross anymore either. I have two young girls and want to start riding with them. I live about 200 feet from a nice rails to trail system that links me with some real nice trails to ride.

My question is should I get a 29er or a standard mountain bike?

I also like the single speed and feel I have the leg strength to pull it off. I'm just not sure I want to torture myself all the time. I live in southeast PA and the trails are really rocky. I was thinking the 29er would suit the terrain here better than the 26. I also thought I could get away with a hardtail and save some money by getting the 29er and skipping the rear suspension.

It will most likely be a Cannondale or Specialized. The LBS will hook me up but it has to be a line they carry.



Your thoughts please...
 

·
Former Bike Wrench
Joined
·
15,976 Posts
Pretty sure your going to get some biased responses in this forum...

But having "converted" to a 29er hardtail this summer (from a 5" F/R full suspension 26er), I am definitely hooked on the 29er Kool Aid. They roll over obstacles so much better and I am riding the same trails with 80mm of front travel only. No, its not as plush as a full suspension, but it is better than any 26er hardtail I ever rode.
 

·
Administrator
Joined
·
11,987 Posts
my advice is if you are a kinda set and forget kinda guy the rigid 29er with a SS option will more than suit your needs but if you are a tinkerer, suspension settings, gear ratios, etc then you might be better suited on a full sus bike 29er or not.

29er wheels are not suspension, they just help smooth the obstacles that your tire would hang on. They can run less air in the tires so you get some help there and they have really nice traction when the going gets steep or technical.

Basically go try one at a store, or borrow someones for some time, it is the only way you will really be sure on this.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
7,493 Posts
Unless you are in the habit of riding really fast over rough stuff, a rigid 29er is the go. The money you save on a suspension fork will pay for some really nice bling for the bike. (There's no such thing as a good cheap suspension fork for a 29er)

Naturally single speed is best :)
 

·
Vaginatarian
Joined
·
5,686 Posts
one thing no one is mentioning is how tall are you? and how heavy, and how big are your feet?
really short people (roughly under 5'8" I think) have a difficult time with 29ers. short top tube, big wheel = toe overlap
I think there aren't nearly as many options for 29" vs. 26" and if you are a big rider and want to do big drops and free ride stuff you're even more limited.

go 29" and you wont go back:thumbsup:
 

·
Recovering couch patato
Joined
·
14,019 Posts
As an industrial technician/machinist/milwright/welder, why don't you start from scratch, figure out what would be the most appropriate wheel size for a 2-wheeled vehicle to be pedaled by you. When you're set on a first hypothesis, see what the market offers closest to it.

For riding with the girls, any two-wheeler will do, unless they are like their old man at the same age, and just leave him behind in a cloud of trail dust. If they're still in need of training wheels he odd 26" bike will do just fine, just require more of your attention.
I sometimes get the impression that former MX/enduro riders need more excitement from a bike than is necessary to navigate it through the trees. A nervous handling small-wheeled bikes offers that excitement. Me, I'm into the feeling of total control and maximum speed any self-propelled bike will allow me to roll tight winding trails. Laws of physics force me on 29" for that.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
9 Posts
Discussion Starter · #11 ·
I think I already made up my mind

I think I already made up my mind. I just wanted some opinions to make sure I wasn't missing anything. I already own a 26" mountain bike. I didn't mention that. Its just a base model that I used to pull my girls in a trailer when they were really little. That way I could still ride and get some training miles in. You wouldn't believe how heavy two young girls feel in a trailer that you are pulling. Thanks for the input. I believe it will be a 29er for me. I'll post back when I do it and let you know what I get. I especially like the Cannondale 29er 3 in a single speed.
 

·
Vaginatarian
Joined
·
5,686 Posts
Padre said:
I guess you told me:rolleyes:
this from Niners web site

NINER F.A.Q.

are 29" wheels just for tall people? Back To Top

Quite simply, no. They definitely make a larger bike look more correctly proportioned to the rider, but many people under average height ride 29ers and are totally stoked with the ride. Chris Sugai, co-founder of Niner bikes is 5' 6" and his enthusiasm for the bigger wheels is contagious. The benefits that apply to the larger wheel are noticeable no matter what your height. That being said, riders under 5' 4" are likely to find fitting a 29er a little more difficult. As the frame gets smaller, there are other issues that the larger wheel will bring up such as toe overlap to the front wheel and standover height. Standover height can easily be addressed with bent top tubes and other means, but the top tube length can only get so short before your toe starts hitting the front wheel while turning.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
180 Posts
dan0 said:
really short people (roughly under 5'8" I think) have a difficult time with 29ers. short top tube, big wheel = toe overlap
I believe the average American male height is around 5'9" tall, I know that I'm around that height and I have no problem with my 29er. I know people that are as short as 5'4" that ride 29ers and like them (3 people that I ride with on a regular basis). I think a 29er would be great for someone that lives close to a rails to trail system. I think you'll enjoy the nice momentum that the larger wheels will keep as you are pedaling down the trails. My best advice would be to try one and see if you like it.

Though I only have a rigid single speed 29er, I would probably recommend a 1x9 or a full geared bike to ride with your younger girls. I've noticed that especially on hills, if you are riding a single speed with someone who is quite a bit slower than you, its hard to stay with them as they sit and spin. This may be discouraging to new/younger bikers. I think if I had younger children that were biking on their own I would get a geared bike so I could spin along side them. Just some things to consider.

I pulled that average height statistic from a quick google search and here: http://www.swivel.com/graphs/show/22839083
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
9 Posts
Discussion Starter · #16 ·
Sizing

I'm 5'11" and change. Sizing will not be a problem.

I didn't notice the 29er FAQ's on the border on this forum till this morning. This cleared up alot of questions I had.

As far as SS vs. gears I just don't know what I'm going to do yet. I have time I'm in no rush. I'll ride some friends bikes and figure it out.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
98 Posts
mikezx18 said:
I'm 5'11" and change. Sizing will not be a problem.

I didn't notice the 29er FAQ's on the border on this forum till this morning. This cleared up alot of questions I had.

As far as SS vs. gears I just don't know what I'm going to do yet. I have time I'm in no rush. I'll ride some friends bikes and figure it out.
I'm 5'11" size 12/46 shoe, started on a 26" bike, bought a used Fisher Mt Tam 29er on ebay, sold the 26, got a Dos Niner had toe overlap, gave it to my son, got a Lenz Leviathan, used, life is good. If your friends or LBS have SS, geared, rigid, FS, ride them all, and buy what you like the best, if you get lucky you may only have to buy one bike. I read somewhere that the 29" wheel equals 1" of travel, for what that's worth.
 

·
Lurker
Joined
·
152 Posts
What about a geared bike that is not to hard to convert to SS?

I've got a Specialized RockHopper 29'er, currently geared 3x8, soon going to 1x9.

Once I get the single crank on it I know I can swap out some parts in the rear & set it up for SS without too much hassle (although the more I think about it the more I realize my left knee won't handle single speed too well).
 
1 - 20 of 20 Posts
This is an older thread, you may not receive a response, and could be reviving an old thread. Please consider creating a new thread.
Top