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mixing 29 and 26

840 Views 7 Replies 5 Participants Last post by  addictionms
anyone have any experience with them? I am shopping for a new bike and had planned on a simple RockHopper but I have now found out about these two niners. I am pretty tall at 6'3" and so a larger wheel would not be too odd.

I am particularly interested in feed back on a unique bike I have the opportunity to buy. It is a one off from a bike shop who built a "hybred" two niner and 26" bike, they put a two niner wheel in the front to absorb the bumps and add grip but kept the 26" in the rear to the wheel base in not overly long and the acceleration is less effected.

any and all opinions welcome.

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Welcome to the forums Jim!

The 150g advantage of holding on to a 26" rear wheel helps as much for acceleration as the larger front wheel deteriorates it. The difference is neglegible (sp?). Actually, the advantages associated to increasing wheelsize are of a much larger effect, even on acceleration, than it's weight alone.

It's been discussed on all frums before, and the consensus seems to be that 29/26 is better than 26/26, but when buying a new bike, it's really a waste to not get 29/29. Also, if you ever plan to race the bike, different wheel sizes on a bike are not allowed by the UCI.

Demo a capable 29" FS first, then decide.

It's quite had to not mess up the geometry of a 26" bike by fitting 29" parts to it. The bike will "never" handle like the designer had in mind. It may be great, but for other types of riding, and with less front suspension travel.

150 louzy grams...yeah that will turn a tank into a rocket alright! Especially with the extra weight being administered to the front anyway! Surprise surprise : once you get over it mentally, 29/29 bikes really do fine in getting up to speed.
150 grams to trade for over half the 29" advantages mentioned in the FAQ thread, is weight that important to you? Then use a 26" front wheel too, and get an equal rocket boost!
Too bad that most suspension frames add 1000g alone.
Don't be fooled by the weight in wheels counting stronger becaue of being rotational weight. It counts for double at best, and only for the time that you're ac(de)cellerating.

Specialized may be launching a 29" bike soon, why not wait for that, while riding a Lenz Behemoth or Leviathan, Titus Racer-X, Fisher Caliber or Sugar, Astrix Monk, etc, etc?
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thanks for the input, I did look around and found tons on the 29/29 bikes and missed the 29/26 stuff.

The only reason I am considering this particular bike is the price, basically I know the shop owner, he built it for himself, and never rides it so he is willing to to sell it to me at a killer price. The current plan is to ride it a few times and see if I like it, and if so keep it. From what he has told me I would be getting a killer deal over what he has put into it.

It just seemed werd to me to think of a 29/26 combination.

I don't expect I will ever race bikes again, so that would not be an issue. I used to race a long long time ago, and now this is just for fun, and to keep fit for my current active hobby, racing cars.

I am really more concerned, as you point out, about the frame geometry, when I was racing I did mostly road racing and the geometry does make a big difference in the feel of the bike. I ended up getting a custom frame built for me to get what I wanted.

Any pointers on what I should be looking for to see if this was built reasonably? I hope to pick it up on Saturday, so I will be able to put together a build list then.

Thanks again for the input and help.

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Find an identical bike with 26" front, and measure the height of the head tube to compare. That's a start.
Such a Specialized was discussed here, may have been the same.

When swapping front wheel+fork to 29, handling will likely become more DH-friendly, less singletrack-friendly. 29" bikes are corrected for the taller fork and wheel.
My guess is they did this to keep the lower gearing of a 26er. With standard
MTB drive train components, a 29er will be about 10% higher gearing. Which
would tend to make the 29er "feel slower" and "climb harder" than the
corresponding 26er. Esp if you are on the wrong side of the physics, mass
wise (not built on the Lance A. design.)

Some days I consider a FS, but first I have to see if I can find another one
of those 20T Shimano XT/XTR Ti chainrings ... or a 34 cassette or both.

I recently built up a 29/26 bike, I call it a 96er, or "The Big Wheel". The only reason I did it was because I already had a $$$ enduro pro and it was only going to cost me around $250 for a low end fork and low end front wheel to see if I liked the big unit up front. Look for my thread for more details:

Since that thread I have lowered my handlebars even more (Like Cloxxki recommended) and have cleared ALL the steep hills I was whining about in the thread. Every time I ride my bike I love it more than before.
I love it SO much more in fact that I wish I had a full 29er. If you are buying a bike new, no question get a 29er. My only problem, and it happens almost every time I ride downhill, is that I'm going so much faster that I overheat my back brakes, and I seem to have lost some stopping power on my front brakes (because I need to go to an 8" rotor). I suspect if I went 8" front and back it would be perfect.
What I really want now is a 4" Leviathon. Today that seems like the perfect bike for me.

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I found out a bit more info, this bike is built on a Carver 96er frame, so it should be set up right, with a Reba RockShox front fork and XT/XTR components, and AVID BB5 brakes and the price is killer, I am going to check it out tomorrow and unless it is somehow really wack, I will be taking it home. The shop is being really cool about it and they are selling me the bike with a 2 week exchange for anything else I would like.

Seems totally fair. I will shoot some pictures tomorrow and post them.

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