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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Does that sound as odd to anyone else as it does to me?

I'm looking to move up into the ranks of the "two-bike owner", as I want to obtain a lightweight, prefereably carbon race-day only bike.

I'm completely capable of assembling an entire bike, and have on many occasions, so the buy vs build isn't really my concern, it's the common 26 vs 29 question.

My current ride/race rig (2010 Santa Cruz Superlight), is setup great, and I love it...so not really dying to get ride of it. I roll on a set of XM819/Hopes for daily use, and race on a set of Hope XC3 Pros with lighter tires. It's still a little piggy at 25.5 lbs with race wheels, and I really want to be be in the sub 24 lb range if I'm going to spend the $ on a race bike.

The fact I already have a raceworthy set of wheels, is an incentive to stick with a 26er as a second bike.

But...I'm still interested in 29ers, and would most likely try and demo a few to make sure first, but does anyone else regularly switch from one type to another? Dollar for dollar, I think I can build a lighter 26er than a 29er, but from what I read, the extra weight of a 29er can be offset by it's capabilities.

Two bikes I've been looking at are the new Specialized Epic Evo R 26er and 29er.

If it matters, I'm 5'7", 145 and can't much lighter or heavier. Most of my serious training is on a road bike, so the daily rig doesn't have to be light, it's more for longer and fun rides.

Thoughts/opinions/comments much appreciated. :thumbsup:
 

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That's what I did. Picked up a carbon Flash 29er to use primarily as a race bike and keep my 5 Spot for an all around bike. The 29er feels super fast on non to moderately technical terrain, but so far have only done a training race on it. It does have a totally different feel than my Turner, so be sure to ride it enough to get feel comfortable on it for racing.
 

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mutaullyassuredsuffering
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switch

I did it the other way around for a few years. I trained on my 29" HT and raced my 26"FS. It only took me a few minutes to get used to each bike after riding the other for awhile. The 26" wheels looked tiny each ride! As long as your contact points remain at the same relative distance and heights (feet, sit bones, hands) your body won't know the difference from a fitness perspective either.

Before that, I used to swap out race day/training parts for every race. It was a pain in the butt, changing wheels, rotors, pedals, etc regularly. That lead me to the two bike thing. A 29" HT was cheap and bombproof. It enabled me to leave my Blur XC as a raceish rig. Last year I finally ditched the 26" bike, and am now running 2 x 29' HT's. One is XX, and one is XTR, one is rigid...one has suspension. 1 minute into a ride, I'm fully accustomed to whatever I'm sitting on.
 

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Brant-C.
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i got a sf100 last year.
i ride a gary fisher sugar and diamondback mission on trail rides. train on the road bike as well.
have not ridden the sf100 yet this year but plan on racing it lots.
 

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beer horse
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Not quite on topic, but this year I'm training on a rigid SS 29er (2011 Kona Unit) and racing on a geared hardtail 29er (2011 Flash Carbon 2). Not having owned a geared mtb, I previously trained and raced on my Bianchi Rita SS that has since broken.

Man, that light geared bike feels like cheating when I take it out for a spin. I'm hoping it will feel like cheating when I race it so I can break out of the middle of the pack for once :)

While I do think it makes sense to train on something that is more challenging, i.e. "slower", there's something to be said for gaining an intimacy with your race bike that I don't yet have--and won't have for some time since I won't be riding it that much--with mine.

Ideally for racing, I think I would train seriously on my new gearie, but I'm afraid to break it (I know, it's silly. . .but I'm hard on bike stuff); plus, I like riding SS rigid.

My opinion: You should try the 29er to see how you like it--you just might never ride a 26er again. That's what happened to me, but I'm a little bigger than you are, which I think makes a difference.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
I went to a 26" FS last year, because after a few years of riding/racing a HT, I just couldn't take the beating anymore. All my training routes are on very rough, rocky trails. Not technically challenging, just rough and require a lot of standing, even with tubeless tires. I run my tubeless at about 28-29, any less and although I dont pinch, I hit the rim.

So, I'm not 100% confident a 29er hardtail is going to let me carry the same speed through the rough stuff in the races, that I can with my 26er FS. I already know Im faster through the rough stuff on my FS this year than my HT last year, albeit I gave up about a min or a bit less per lap due to moving the extra weight uphill.

I just kind of assumed at this point, if I get a 29er race bike, it will have to be FS...
 

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I've got a similar setup. A Fuel EX with a 140mm TALAS as my trail bike with a Fisher SF100 as the race bike. The 26er is way more plush, comfortable, "tossable", and an overall better "long epic ride where you want to have fun" bike. The 29er is a race machine. Light, fast, lean and with the rear shock at 210-220 psi it feels very hardtail like but takes the edge off of roots/rocks.

As someone else said, make sure your contact points are the same. I have about 20mm more seat to handlebar drop on the race bike for an aggressive climbing position, and because I can't get an 18" frame in a GF, ~8 mm less reach to my handlebar. Other then that, same seat height, pedal distance, and seat fore-aft setup. It's easy going from bike to bike and I really like having the 2 bikes as choices.

-Tom
 

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I like to ride my bike.
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I did that last year with a Trek Top Fuel and my Scott 29er...I liked the 29er so much I never rode the Trek. I just trained on the Scott and eventually sold the Trek.

One bike for racing and one for training is great, but I was finding that my race bike and my training bike rode so differently, going back and forth between the two was no fun.
 

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After comparing my 26" XC hardtail to a high-end 29er HT in my size, I found I was considerably faster on 26, so I stuck with 26 for both the race bike and the all-purpose bike. Rhetoric is one thing, empirical results are another, so try to get some firsthand testing and see what works for you.

Switching between two bikes isn't too hard for me. I mainly have to deal with slightly-different shifter operation, since the race bike has XTR pods with 2-way release and multi-release, while the all-purpose bike has neither feature.

In the big picture, I do train plenty on my race bike. It seems like the tail wagging the dog to have a bike I'm reluctant to actually use. I might wear out some RaceKing Supersonics, but you got to pay to play.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
mechBgon said:
Switching between two bikes isn't too hard for me. I mainly have to deal with slightly-different shifter operation, since the race bike has XTR pods with 2-way release and multi-release, while the all-purpose bike has neither feature.
My current (future training) bike has X0 gripshift, which I will never get ride of. But any new race bike will at least by 2x10, probably 1x10, which unfortnately rules out GS since SRAM doesn't think it's important...but that's a whole different thread. :D

So no matter what, I'll have to be able to switch easily between two.
 
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