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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hey guys, I've been searching hard for the past couple weeks for a bike and I seem to get more and more confused about what I want!

Last week, I was really set on a 26er Rockhopper, but after hearing so many things about the 29er...... I started looking at 29ers which was a big mistake. It might prove to be fruitful at the end, but I'm confused as heck right now about what I want.

So, I was hoping to get some feedback from some of you 29er guys! Here is my thinking....

If I go ahead and get a 29er (which it seems as if that is the way the trend is going right now), then I would never know what a 26er feels like which could be a good thing. I would never know how much easier it is to do jumps, tricks, or how easier it is to make sharp turns with a 26er. But, then again ignorance isn't always bliss.

I am 29 yrs old and I was 14 years old last time I hit the trails with my old mountain bike so I've been out of the sport for so long! Generally speaking, would the typical trail be more fun with a 26er or a 29er? How much more difficult is it to learn basic tricks with a 29er over a 26er such as bunnyhopping etc?

The 29er that I have in mind are the Specialized Rockhopper and my LBS even had a Fuji which was LOADED. The Fuji is a 2008 with Rock Shox Tora fork and Juicy 5 brakes as opposed to the Rock Shox Dart and the BB5 brakes that the Rockhopper had.

What do you guys think?? My budget is anywhere from $600 to $900.

Thanks for the help fellas!!!!
 

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Elitest thrill junkie
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The Fuji sounds good. At that price point it doesn't matter what brand you go with, just go with the one that has the best components.

A 29er is a great first-mountain bike. 29ers are taking over segments, and eventually the sgements that they can't cover well (short people, agressive downhill stuff, etc) will be filled in with 650b. Do it, you won't regret it.

I would consider a 26er if you're going to be doing agressive downhill riding, maybe as a "mini" downhill bike (same geometry but with less travel). That would be fun to jump and drop and do all sorts of stuff on. Seeing as you are getting your first "real" mountain bike, I'd say that type of riding is somewhat far off in any case. There are disadvantages to a 29er, but there are too many advantages IMO, especially for a beginner. In the meantime, they're working on 29er trail and freeride bikes and they may have some pretty refined bikes by the time you'd be ready for one. Otherwise they may run into the travel and geometry barriers, but might as well let them figure that out for a while as you are riding your mountain bike.
 

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29er

My decision would be to go with the 29er. I have both 26er and 29er and I always take the 29er out. I live in the northeast where it is rocky and rooty and we have short steep climbs compared to out west where the climbs can be long and steep. With that being said my 29er performs well for me in my situation. I like the 29er setup, it gives me more confidence in certain situations, i.e. going down steep rocky descents, with the wheel out front farther. I would test ride both a 26er and 29er and make your choice from there.
 

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T , V , & K Rider
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Go 29er!!!!!!!!!!

Yes , especially if your looking at a HT rather than FS ! I wouldn't even consider a 26er HT frame anymore except maybe if it was a pure dirt jump / urban type frame for playin around on ! Go with the geometry that would best fit your riding needs......lots of variety and good frames to choose from ! TIG.
 

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Derailleurless
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My wife has been riding for about 10 years but has never progressed much past the "beginner" stage in many respects (timid rider, prefers easier terrain, not much for long distances).

When she moved to a 29er, two things changed: she became much more confident on downhills, leading to respectable speeds and giving her to tackle steeper and looser descents (though still not "technical" by any stretch of the imagination, and she became a better climber on those steeper / looser trails that were previously problematic.

I don't want to blame it all on the larger wheel size. Bike fit changed, the wheelbase stretched as did chainstay length, different tire treads, refreshed mental state due to new equipment and my predictions on how great 29" wheels would be for her, blah blah blah...

Net result is, at 5'5", we thought it would be a gamble, but it paid off. We're both happy with the result.
 

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How tall are you? If you are 6'0" or more I'd be asking the question: "is there any reason why I should be considering a 26er?" If you're shorter, bar height and toe overlap are potential issues. But if you are tall, these are non-issues, and a29er is IMO a better option.

The only concern that I have with 29ers is on hardtails with short chain stays, it's difficult to run wide rear tires and a triple chain ring - the front derailler plate can have clearance issues. Other than that one issue, there's no other concerns for me.

I still ride my old 26er built up as a single speed, but for new bikes I'd only consider 650b or 29" wheels. I don't see any advantages to the 26": wheel size at my height (just under 6'1").
 

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Missouri sucks...
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It's the difference between a tricycle and a big wheel...big wheels are cooler! haha

In all seriousness, I went from a full suspension Turner 5 Spot 26" to a Cannondale hardtail 29er and I'm basically pissed I wasted so much time on the small wheels and extra weight of the Turner. I won't lie and say that a 29er hardtail feels like a full suspension 26er but it is much more compliant than the 26er hardtails are. Get the 29er, go out to the trail with a friend and offer to let him try out your ride while you try his. You'll realize almost immediately how superior the 29er is;) I'm almost diabetic from the 29er KoolAid!

Bottom line: get a hardtail 29er! You won't regret it.
 

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Speedub.Nate said:
My wife has been riding for about 10 years but has never progressed much past the "beginner" stage in many respects (timid rider, prefers easier terrain, not much for long distances).

When she moved to a 29er, two things changed: she became much more confident on downhills, leading to respectable speeds and giving her to tackle steeper and looser descents (though still not "technical" by any stretch of the imagination, and she became a better climber on those steeper / looser trails that were previously problematic.

I don't want to blame it all on the larger wheel size. Bike fit changed, the wheelbase stretched as did chainstay length, different tire treads, refreshed mental state due to new equipment and my predictions on how great 29" wheels would be for her, blah blah blah...

Net result is, at 5'5", we thought it would be a gamble, but it paid off. We're both happy with the result.
Same experience with my girlfriend, and, quite frankly, me as well!
 

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Virtus pre nummis
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I bought a 29er as my first bike in 47 years! The first reason was my size! I'm 6' and at the time weighed in at 280 lbs. I just felt that the 26er was just plain to small for my size and I kept hitting my knees on the handlebars of the 26er that I bought off craigslist for a $100 bucks to see if that was what I could ride. After 2 weeks I sold that little bike and bought a 21" Redline Monocog 29er. I now weigh in at 220 lbs. and I love that big muther!
 

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don't try this at home
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Speedub.Nate said:
My wife has been riding for about 10 years but has never progressed much past the "beginner" stage in many respects (timid rider, prefers easier terrain, not much for long distances).

When she moved to a 29er, two things changed: she became much more confident on downhills, leading to respectable speeds and giving her to tackle steeper and looser descents (though still not "technical" by any stretch of the imagination, and she became a better climber on those steeper / looser trails that were previously problematic.

I don't want to blame it all on the larger wheel size. Bike fit changed, the wheelbase stretched as did chainstay length, different tire treads, refreshed mental state due to new equipment and my predictions on how great 29" wheels would be for her, blah blah blah...

Net result is, at 5'5", we thought it would be a gamble, but it paid off. We're both happy with the result.
i'm hoping this is the case when wifey gets her 29er next week! haha she'll be getting hers long before I get mine too!
 

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29er VS 26"

After having 3 26" I decided to get a 29er. After riding them all, I find myself more comfortable on the 26.

Shop around, rent, borrow and then decide. There is nothing so freaking hot about 29er in my opinion.

Here is my 2 cents.
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
Thanks a ton for the input!! I actually rode a 26er and a 29er Rockhopper and I felt equally comfortable on both of them, but the 29er rode smoother in my opinion. They let me test ride it on a mini trail.

So i'm pretty sure I want the 29er, but (you guys will laugh at me) the color scheme for the 29er Rockhopper is horrid in my opinion! Its just this dull red with no graphics or any other colors. The 29er Hardrock looks awesome, but does not have the components that the Rockhopper has. I am going to look at other 29ers this and next week and make sure I do not see anything else I like better before putting down around $1,000 for the Rockhopper 29er.

I was thinking about getting the Fuji, but it was the only one left and it was a 17" frame and I need a 19" since I am 6'.

Thanks guys for your input and any other suggestions would be greatly appreciated.
 

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don't try this at home
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6packguywith5spot said:
After having 3 26" I decided to get a 29er. After riding them all, I find myself more comfortable on the 26.

Shop around, rent, borrow and then decide. There is nothing so freaking hot about 29er in my opinion.

Here is my 2 cents.
as of 2 days ago, you seemed to be getting more into you el-mar. what happened?
 

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I don't think you should get off any easier than most of us... So that means

1) first by a 26" with v-brakes
2) buy a FS 26" because your first bike wasn't good enough
3) buy a much more expensive FS 26" because its way better than your first FS
4) get a cheap 29er and sell 1 - 3 above.
 

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Elonheater said:
...the color scheme for the 29er Rockhopper is horrid in my opinion! Its just this dull red with no graphics or any other colors. The 29er Hardrock looks awesome, but does not have the components that the Rockhopper has.

I am going to look at other 29ers this and next week and make sure I do not see anything else I like better before putting down around $1,000 for the Rockhopper 29er.
Don't let the color of the bike define you. You define IT! :D

You should look around. There are a ton of other deserving choices available from brands that "paved the way" for Specialized's 29" offerings.
 

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SSolo, on your left!
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Jayem said:
The Fuji sounds good. At that price point it doesn't matter what brand you go with, just go with the one that has the best components.

A 29er is a great first-mountain bike. 29ers are taking over segments, and eventually the sgements that they can't cover well (short people, agressive downhill stuff, etc) will be filled in with 650b. Do it, you won't regret it.

I would consider a 26er if you're going to be doing agressive downhill riding, maybe as a "mini" downhill bike (same geometry but with less travel). That would be fun to jump and drop and do all sorts of stuff on. Seeing as you are getting your first "real" mountain bike, I'd say that type of riding is somewhat far off in any case. There are disadvantages to a 29er, but there are too many advantages IMO, especially for a beginner. In the meantime, they're working on 29er trail and freeride bikes and they may have some pretty refined bikes by the time you'd be ready for one. Otherwise they may run into the travel and geometry barriers, but might as well let them figure that out for a while as you are riding your mountain bike.
Pretty good advice.
Speedub.Nate said:
Don't let the color of the bike define you. You define IT! :D

You should look around. There are a ton of other deserving choices available from brands that "paved the way" for Specialized's 29" offerings.
Yep!
 

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Discussion Starter · #19 ·
What other 29er bikes should I look at?? When I was a little kid, I loved Cannondale bikes but it seems as if the ONLY Cannondale 29er that is around $1,000 is the TRAIL SL 29'ER 5 which is $899, but it has a rigid fork and the Trail SL 4 has a RST fork on it..... is the Trail SL 4 worth looking at?

I have looked at Fuji Tahoe Pro, Specialized Rockhopper, and thats about it. Any other ideas for a 29er for around $800-$1,000?
 

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COMBO - President
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laffeaux said:
How tall are you? If you are 6'0" or more I'd be asking the question: "is there any reason why I should be considering a 26er?" If you're shorter, bar height and toe overlap are potential issues. But if you are tall, these are non-issues, and a29er is IMO a better option..
Toe overlap is not an issue for even small frame 29ers if they are built right. My two Niners (Jet and Rip) have no toe overlap with even a small frame size.
 
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