I need opinions from the little guys like me (5' 8'' & 160lbs.). Do the big wheels role better? I am seriously thinking about a One Niner. Will a single big wheeler ride better in singletrack with real climbing i.e 3 or 4 laps at Tamaracho. For non-Norcal's thats about 8 miles and 1200ft per lap in cool singletrack. Currently my Ti gearie and steel single do well, but I am intrigued by all of the 29er hoopla. Please drop some knowlegde.
Also anyone who wants to help a brother out with a test ride, it would be greatly appreciated with some Newcastles.
Thanks for the help.
Single is single in Tamarancho, be it 29er or 26er, IMO. Just find the right gear for 29er vs. what you're used to riding 26er, and you're good to go. Personally I like 34:21 for most 29er SSing around Marin, including Tamarancho. I hear there are a few One Niners around in Marin, though I've never seen any. Chris at Niner told me 3 of the WTB guys ride them, and I think there is at least one other around locally here.
I love riding the loop on my 29er, but I would say that about most any trail. Nothing special about Tamarancho and 29ers, they're just better. As you know, there are a lot of switchbacks on the loop, which some say is a weakness of 29ers. I can clear most of the tight uphill switchbacks on Serpentine, no more or less than what I can do on a 26er, though I do have trouble with a couple on Broken Dam. The big wheels just make the loop more fun. Roll over the rocks on Wagon Wheel instead of running into them. B-17 is a magic carpet ride on big wheels.
If I hadn't recently sold my Slingshot SS 29er, you would be welcome to use it for a test ride, and it would have fit you fine. So I'm currently without a dedicated SS 29er to loan out.
See you out there,