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Is it easier riding a 29'er as a single speed verses a 26" SS? I know the benefits of 29" wheels, but what I'm looking for is more of a "feeling" type response. How many here are riding 29'ers as SS vs. Geared (looking for a ratio)? Cloxxi mentioned that it seems like most go to 29" wheels as a SS first. Any thoughts on that?
 

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bigwheelboy_490 said:
Is it easier riding a 29'er as a single speed verses a 26" SS? I know the benefits of 29" wheels, but what I'm looking for is more of a "feeling" type response. How many here are riding 29'ers as SS vs. Geared (looking for a ratio)? Cloxxi mentioned that it seems like most go to 29" wheels as a SS first. Any thoughts on that?
I rode a 26" SS and a 29" geared at the same time. I swore I wouldn't switch the 29er to SS, but when the 26"SS frame broke, I decided to give it a whirl.

Now, I ride a 29" SS and 26" geared bike...

The 29er has all the usual advantages... rolls over stuff easier, carries more momentum... however getting up to speed takes more effort. The only advantage on the 26" SS was that it was slightly lighter, and would accelerate much better than the 29er. The 29er is a much faster and smoother bike as well!
 

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Last season, I was still racing 26", due to UCI laws. I did one non-UCI race, which I also named to be the inaugural Open Dutch SS Champs. I rode mostly wih th same folks as always, but now on my rigid KM 29" in stead of a 29" racer hardtail. Out of 100+ sarters, I rated myself to be 7th on a good day in that field, supposing 26" and gears, but I did 13th with the SS, in my first-ever race on it. Unfortunately I can't speak out of actial experience with 26" SS, but perhaps it's like this :
SS forces you to ride in a totally different manner, to make it up hills or even go fast over a lap. The 29" addition could allow you to actually go fast, period, despite the SS restriction. When riding my KM in group trainings, casual rides, and races, it feels jsut like I'm cheating.
In the unofficial German champSS later last year in Berlin, I was the weakest of the leading group, but was able to stay with them for over an hour, I think thanks to the large wheels, and better momentum. I didn't have the legs to stay with them on ascends anyway, but the floating sections meant I was catching up all the time, while saving a bit of power even.
Bottom line, 29" is a good thing to start with, but in the SS situation, the benefits seem to be more apparent, and shear FUN!
 

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I run 34/19 on the 29er.

I ran 2:1 (34/17) on the 26" SS.

If you're running a Fisher frame, 34/19 almost takes all of the slack out. I was running a cassette cog, but I think running a King cog would have taken all (or most) of the slack out.

Homer Simpson said:
What gearing are you running on your 29er SS?
 

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34x20 here vs. 34x18 on 26"

I spent the better part of a year riding a 26" SS then made the switch to a KM. I echo some of the sentiments above. I would also add that the momentum of those big wheels rolling really helps the SS where it needs it most. Climbing is no comparison from 26" to 29". The latter is so much better. Yes, when you are going through extremely technical terrain where you are trackstanding alot, there is some difficulty getting the wheels rolling on the SS 29"er. Otherwise, it's a slam dunk for the 29"er. Another advantage for all 29'ers that I don't read very often is that the gyroscopic effect of the wheels really helps to smooth out turns; especially fast and/or bumpy ones. I notice when I am riding with people of similar ability (them being on 26" SS or geared bikes), I tend to lose them on fast and/or bumpy downhills, "rollers" or short and/or steep hills and long sweeping turns. And, unless they are pretty skilled on their 5" travel trailbike, I will tend to lose them in flat to downhill rock gardens, root tangles, etc.
 
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