Mountain Bike Reviews Forum banner
1 - 20 of 39 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,672 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
i went for a ride yesterday, first one in a while. 60-65 hr work weeks will do that to you. i knew i was going to be sucking wind, having lost just about all of my summer fitness so i was less than enthused. i was getting ready to hit the trail when a guy pulled up with an airborne b-29 on his rack. my curiousity got the best of me so i struck up a conversation and asked him what he thought about the 29in wheels.
he said they make him faster than he's ever been and that it was like riding his road bike. turns out he's a roadie that only goes into the woods when it gets cold. he's also an avid swimmer and runner (damn!!!!!! :eek: , am i in trouble!!!!) so i knew he'd be pretty fast. he asked me if he could ride with me, which is exactly what i was thinking, since i wanted to see the 29in wheels in action.
hitting the trail, we immediately hit thick,gooey, mud which he just went right through. though i seemed to be pedaling faster than him, he started to pull away in the mud but when we hit the singletrack i started to catch him. we hit a downhill and i was right with him through the tight singletrack until we had to go up hill. thats when his wheels just rolled right over the roots and rocks while me and my curtlo had to resort to our "technical skills" to hit the right lines.
i made it up but he had gapped me. this happened on every hill until i lost sight of him.
furthermore, there's little drops and steps going downhill on this trail, which his front wheel just filled the space seemlessly and he flew down with out any regard for the drops or steps, while i again had to finesse my way. the big wheels seem like an advantage over technical terrain, without the complication of full sus., sounds good to me. i finished my ride by myself, my 29er riding freind out of sight.
exhausted but enlighted of the limitations of the 26in wheel and some of the advantages of the 29in wheel, i dragged my out of shape, tired but home. now i really cant wait to finish building my soma juice!!!!!!!!
 

·
HIKE!
Joined
·
1,657 Posts
Myriads is not correct..

should be simply myriad:

Definition: innumerable
Synonyms: countless, endless, gobs, heap, immeasurable, incalculable, infinite, loads, mint, multiple, multitudinous, numberless, oodles, raft, scads, slew, stacks, uncounted, untold, variable

Back to bike geekery. I've had the inverse demonstration more often than the one described by edouble. 29" wheeled bikes being less common and all. But both involve a fitter rider pulling away from a less fit rider. Wheel size being irrelevant.

I've been riding a 29" Kona Unit 2-9 alot lately trying to feel the differences between 559mm bsd (26") and 622mm bsd (29") for myself. Comparisons are between a Ventana Toro and the afformentioned Kona Unit 2-9, similar components, same gain ratio (see www.sheldonbrown.com) and weight. So far the 29" platform has proven to be less of a hinderance than I'd gone in expecting.

Apples to apples comparisons just aren't there as no 2.3" UST tires are yet available for 622mm bsd wheels. That is a distinct handicap as many decent 2.3" UST tires are available for 559mm bsd wheels, leaving better traction, cornering, climbing, lower rolling resistance and better flat protection still the domain of the 26" wheel. But I've yet to try all 622mm bsd tires out there, and maybe will have to try a Stan's conversion on the Unit 2-9.
 

·
Exactly 1/2 of 2-Epic
Joined
·
750 Posts
Its 98% the rider

Rainman said:
Nothing like a practical demonstration of the advantages of the 29'er to convert someone over to the bigger wheels.. :)

R.
c'mon now. 60-65 hour work weeks...lost all summer fitness...rode with a roadie/tri guy...let's see, why do you think he fell behind on the climbs?
 

·
Reviewer/Tester
Joined
·
6,176 Posts
hairball_dh said:
c'mon now. 60-65 hour work weeks...lost all summer fitness...rode with a roadie/tri guy...let's see, why do you think he fell behind on the climbs?
I partly agree with you.. my reply was a bit of a stir..:)

However, I do not agree with your 98% heading. There is simply no way that I can ride over the same trails on a 26" wheeled bike with the ease that I do it on my 29'er.

If you havn't tried it yourself, please....do so.

[ The quote is from the english translation of the The Rubaiyat of Omar Khayyam by Edward J Fitzgerald, Quatrain LXIV. ]

Here is the link:

http://www.everypoet.com/archive/poetry/Omar_Khayyam/omar_khayyam_rubaiyat.htm

:)

R.
 

·
HIKE!
Joined
·
1,657 Posts
Been testing 29 vs 26 myself

...and so far, have found that the lower rolling resistance, better traction and cornering, better flat protection NOT to be in the corner of the 29er contender. I am comparing 26 x 2.3 UST tires to Bontrager Jones ACX and WTB Exi, and Moto 29" tires (so far, need to check out more to find the "one" perhaps?). My 29" riding so far has me suspecting most folks that "never look back" once riding a 29er, are coming off a 26" wheeled bike that was either too small, had too skinny of tires at too high of pressures, etc. Something along those lines. Just not a reasonable comparison. So, I decided that is what I would do. Been riding a 29" single speed vs a 26" single speed and thus far am soundly underwhelmed by the 29" thing.

Fervent posts as shown by edouble just make the 29er crowd seem unreasonable. A fitter rider just rode away from a less fit rider. Wheel size has little (perhaps nothing) to do with it. A bike is a bike after all, you still have to power that thing along.

There is simply no way that I can ride over the same trails on a 29" wheeled bike with the ease that I do it on my 26". Sounds equally silly when you turn it like that. Similarly equipped 29" and 26" bikes can handle the same terrain at the same speed under the same rider!

the translation would explain "myriads" but truly "myriad" is already plural....
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,049 Posts
Personally, I think the main advantage of 29ers is the increased rotational weight. The weight is further from the center of the wheel so it is harder to get started. But once the wheels start a spinnin...woowhooooo.... I find the main advantage is on climbs and flats, but maybe that is just the way I ride.

Reduced rolling resistance is fine too.
 

·
mtbr memeber
Joined
·
576 Posts
sparrow said:
There is simply no way that I can ride over the same trails on a 29" wheeled bike with the ease that I do it on my 26". Sounds equally silly when you turn it like that. Similarly equipped 29" and 26" bikes can handle the same terrain at the same speed under the same rider!
Everything else you said is reasonable, but why would you not believe someone if they said going over a certain type of terrain is easier for them on 29" as opposed to 26", or the other way around?
 

·
Reviewer/Tester
Joined
·
6,176 Posts
sparrow said:
...and so far, have found that the lower rolling resistance, better traction and cornering, better flat protection NOT to be in the corner of the 29er contender. I am comparing 26 x 2.3 UST tires to Bontrager Jones ACX and WTB Exi, and Moto 29" tires (so far, need to check out more to find the "one" perhaps?). My 29" riding so far has me suspecting most folks that "never look back" once riding a 29er, are coming off a 26" wheeled bike that was either too small, had too skinny of tires at too high of pressures, etc. Something along those lines. Just not a reasonable comparison. So, I decided that is what I would do. Been riding a 29" single speed vs a 26" single speed and thus far am soundly underwhelmed by the 29" thing.
.
I came off a few different types of 26 inch wheeled bikes onto the 29'er. I believe that my previous experience of riding, building and wrenching bikes for myself and others has given me a certain "feel" for what works and what doesn't. 58 years on two wheels must count for something.. :) All my bikes were fully "tweaked" and tuned, and fitted me like a glove.

However, a rider is only as good as his equipment lets him be, imo.

Same as a racer, surfer, pilot, shooter, whatever.. if you don't have good equipment, then you are limited in how far you can push the envelope.

I have found this to be true in most sports over the years that I have participated in, including bike riding.

My experience of 29'ers was apparently vastly different from yours. I recognised the advantages with the first ride.

Consequently, I stand by what I said. "There is simply no way that I can ride over the same trails on a 26" wheeled bike with the ease that I do it on my 29'er."

That is from my own experience.

Your experience may differ from mine, however, the majority of 29'er riders can't all be wrong. Either you can clearly see and feel the advantages of the big wheels, or you can't.

In my own experience, I felt and saw it immediately.

R.
 

·
Recovering couch patato
Joined
·
14,019 Posts
Well, comparing 26x2.3 UST with Exi's and ACX's, the slow rollers of the 29" world...
Compare some 26" tubed tires to 29" tubes ones, of the same model. Mythos vs. Mythos, Nano vs. Nano, Fast Trak vs. Fast Trak, etc.
For me it's pretty clear. With my latex TUBES in cheap=ass €25 29" tires, It's really hard to find the 26" racer on equipment of his choice to stay on my rear wheel throught hard corners and twisties. My health and thus fitness are totally lacking to challenge "equal"riders on anything straight on or up, but I am extremely confident on the bike as I am. Behind the best XC DH'ers on FS 26"bikes, I find myself braking my 29" hardtail. And behind my singlespeeding singletrack idols I find myself cruising.

Some people are instantly heaps faster with 29" (I've witnessed that, slower friend on my 29"er had me chasing on my own 26"), and some have to almost learn to ride a bike all over again.
Even really tall riders for whom 29"is the only reasonable option sometimes just don't know how to handle this to them totally new riding experience, even on their self-built trails on a bike of perfect fit with ideal properties for the character of the trail. I've seen it.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,201 Posts
sparrow said:
Been riding a 29" single speed vs a 26" single speed and thus far am soundly underwhelmed by the 29" thing.
That's cool. Aren't you glad they make more than one flavor? Pay your money and take your pick, then the good part, go ride!
 

·
Hybrid Leftys aren't real
Joined
·
16,470 Posts
sparrow said:
...and so far, have found that the lower rolling resistance, better traction and cornering, better flat protection NOT to be in the corner of the 29er contender. I am comparing 26 x 2.3 UST tires to Bontrager Jones ACX and WTB Exi, and Moto 29" tires (so far, need to check out more to find the "one" perhaps?). My 29" riding so far has me suspecting most folks that "never look back" once riding a 29er, are coming off a 26" wheeled bike that was either too small, had too skinny of tires at too high of pressures, etc. Something along those lines. Just not a reasonable comparison. So, I decided that is what I would do. Been riding a 29" single speed vs a 26" single speed and thus far am soundly underwhelmed by the 29" thing.

Fervent posts as shown by edouble just make the 29er crowd seem unreasonable. A fitter rider just rode away from a less fit rider. Wheel size has little (perhaps nothing) to do with it. A bike is a bike after all, you still have to power that thing along.

There is simply no way that I can ride over the same trails on a 29" wheeled bike with the ease that I do it on my 26". Sounds equally silly when you turn it like that. Similarly equipped 29" and 26" bikes can handle the same terrain at the same speed under the same rider!

the translation would explain "myriads" but truly "myriad" is already plural....
Myriads, multitudes, heard them both used, doesn't set off that little bell in my head, installed by my 10th grade English teacher so many years ago. You know it, the one that says, hmmmm that's just not quite proper, let me check that out.

As to zealous converts, I am one, and here's what sold me. My 26er rig is a Cdale Prophet, 2.5 Conti Diesel in front, and (in the winter) a 2.3 Conti Survival, so I get the big tire thing. Built myself a 29er, just couldn't stomach buying one only to have it make no difference. My first ride, it was noticeably different, but it was a hardtail so I expected that. I did not expect it to be so cushy as a hardtail though. So I kept on riding it, for about a month, long enough to get settled in to it's nuances, without going back to my Prophet. Then I hopped back on the big squishy 26 tires, and that was it, un friggin believeable, it was night and day, I stop pedalling, it stopped rolling, cornering, you've heard it all. A back and forth test is not as enlightening as a few weeks on one, then switch back. Try that, in the interest of science, since you sound like you want to understand, at least=:) My 2 cents. Ride hard.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
174 Posts
I have a 24lbs 06 Paragon w/ Kenda Klaws mounted Tubeless w/ Stans, and I can tell you right now that even w/ the higher volume Tubed Bontrager tires the hardtail 29'er dropped 4 minutes off my time, and that was w/ a 26lb Trek Fuel and fitness levels the exact same and getting used to the shock of riding a hardtail. I have you know that I am now 8 minutes faster after getting used to the bike.

This dispute to me gets silly that people are always posting about how they don't see why 29" riders are so passionate and why the "never look back mentaility" is kind of silly, especially when the testing is not on par. example:similar gemoetry same tires running Tubed or both tubeless etc.

Real life results are inspiring to 29" riders. If you are one of those people who "don't get it", then by all means they make tons of choices for you in the 26" world, and RC has great advice for you on how to set up your bike in MBA.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
174 Posts
sounds like he was faster, but he described the 29'er rolling over the roots/rocks that he had to technically skirt around. There is a rocky uphill our local trails and on the 29'er the bigger wheels roll over the rocks where my buds have to go around. Doesn't matter what kind of shape your are in when the wheels jam on a 26" because of their attack angle, where the 29" wheel bike has a decreased attack angle and rolls right over.
 

·
HIKE!
Joined
·
1,657 Posts
Dunno Cloxxi,

I'd rather see a tubeless 29" system than handicap my 26" UST system. Nanos, Mythos, etc just don't hold up around here in 26" so I'm hesitant to try them in 29". Don't know your local trail conditions, but rocky here.

Sorry to ruffle feathers fellas, but the advantage just hasn't showed itself to me. I'm not bagging on 29" wheels, just a little reality check! edouble's original post is just such an example of silly claims that 29"ers are soooo much faster. That was just a fit rider out riding a less fit rider.

So I'll be riding the Unit 2-9 for my race bike in 06. Still hoping for the speed gains.
 

·
Always Learning
Joined
·
9,608 Posts
sparrow said:
I'd rather see a tubeless 29" system than handicap my 26" UST system. Nanos, Mythos, etc just don't hold up around here in 26" so I'm hesitant to try them in 29". Don't know your local trail conditions, but rocky here.

Sorry to ruffle feathers fellas, but the advantage just hasn't showed itself to me. I'm not bagging on 29" wheels, just a little reality check! edouble's original post is just such an example of silly claims that 29"ers are soooo much faster. That was just a fit rider out riding a less fit rider.

So I'll be riding the Unit 2-9 for my race bike in 06. Still hoping for the speed gains.
To be fair...

Rocky? That's an understatement (which we have talked about before with regard to the Hills). I seriously doubt Cloxxki or many others on this board ever get a chance to face the type of sharp rocks such as Storm Mountain has and some other parts of the Black Hills as well. As far as sharp rocks go, they are really wacky rocks not found in the majority of places where other riders spend their time on bikes. The upthrust that formed the Black Hills and the years and years of erosion have exposed some seriously sharp rocks that are not at all friendly to tires. No doubt about that and having a fatter/beefier tire may indeed cure some of those flatting woes you are experiencing.

The story about the fit rider on the big wheels and the not so fit rider eventually getting dusted is an interesting story, but I think we would all have to agree - not the best argument for making a switch from one wheel size to another.

How's riding out in the hills this December? I'm coming out next week to visit family and was thinking of bringing a bike along. Only problem is I had surgery 3 weeks ago to repair the meniscus I tore during the Dakota 50. I've worked my way up to about 15-20 minutes a day on the stationary bike - which is hardly enough to get out of the parking lot, but it does seem to get stronger each and every day. I am now walking without a limp. Maybe by New Years Day I'll be up for some riding beyond the parking lot. Are you guys holding your Storm Mountain New Year's Day chilli and beer ride?

BB
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
4,040 Posts
As it relates to trying to correlate fitness and 29erism as being a successful pairing one need not look much farther than recent MTB endurance events.

All athletes being relatively equally in "fitness" the 29ers keep winning (more and more).

What gives? Me thinky the wheels.
 
1 - 20 of 39 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