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Golden Bears United
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385 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I have a Salsa Ala Carte with a rigid front that (I think) can accommodate 29" wheel. Since I will soon upgrade to disc brakes, it would be a good time to try a 29 wheel in front, if for no other reason than the fact that 29" wheels seem to be the rage these days.

I see that Travis Brown and some other racer in Wisconsin successfully used 69er singlespeeds in racing. So maybe turning my 26" into a 69 would transform me into another Travis Brown. :)

What are the pros and cons of such a setup?
 

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noMAD man
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12,220 Posts
How will it affect the geometry with a 1.5" or so increase in axle-to-crown height? Have you done any measurements to give you an idea? Can you find a buddy with a 29'er QR wheel to throw in there just to get a feel and take some measurements? The cons of 69'ers for me is the reduction of travel inherent in using the big wheel. Now, obviously that's from someone who uses a 6+ inch travel travel bike. It won't be the case for other application. In your case geometry seems to the biggest issue to consider.

Here's one thing I found amazingly good on a 69'er....cornering. I found an ML8 with a 29'er front wheel in a DUC32 fork reduced to 120mm and a 26'er rear to have outstanding cornering characteristics. Yes, the big wheel rolled over obstacles very well too, but the surprise for me was the cornering prowess. It wasn't until I went to a riding place where the terrain was rougher that I missed the longer travel fork, and the bigger wheel wasn't quite enough to overcome the reduced travel. Again, this is on a 6.5" full suspension trailbike. Cornering would start to suck in some situations where the bike won't like the application of that tall wheeel and front end geometry kills front end bite. Cornering would suck there, despite the big wheel. I'm not familiar with the geo on that Salsa.
 
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