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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi,

I switched from a 26" mtb to a 29er a while ago, and I'm having a little trouble getting used to it. I thought I was somewhere around the middle of the pack with my technical skills on my 26er, and I expected things to be the same on the new 29" rig.

Unfortunately, I find myself panicking and putting my foot down a lot more than I used to. I feel like I'm way up off the ground and it's a little intimidating, 'cause I feel like I have a long way to fall if I do.

I used clipless pedals on my old bike and have them on my 29er, too. I'm wondering if I should go back to platform pedals until I'm more comfortable. Did any of you notice this kind of change when transitioning from a 26er to a 29er?

thanks,
Bob
 

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I'm just messing with you
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I noticed other differences that took me a while to overcome. I'd say give it more time unless you already have the platform pedals and shoes and really feel like it'd help.

I'd sooner learn to get over an irrational fear than to bang and cut the daylights out of my shins on platform pedals though.
 

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big legs, small brains
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One of the big differences is the lines you take. A little wider into the corner and carry more speed through the turns. Unless your bike doesn't fit then you are screwed!
 

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Sounds like you might have a fit issue but from what I have experienced and read this is a pretty normal feeling. Mostly it seems that people who have ridden 26" for a long time, some have a harder time adjusting. As Kyle said, you need to learn to trust the bike, turning takes a bit more english and speed but you will find that you will hit an epiphany moment where everything clicks and now you will be able to do everything!!! I was somewhat comfortable in my bike up until about 3 weeks ago, then with a slight adjustment to my cleat position I now suddenly have a huge change in power transfer, stability and what I feel I can do.

Went for a ride that I havent done since I first got the bike this weekend. When I first got the bike I was still learning the geometry and felt a bit unsteady on the bike, didnt really feel in the bike. Since then I have made some adjustments (new fork, shorter stem, flat bars, clipless, better tires) and wow what a difference! I was riding with four friends on full sus 26ers and was blowing them away on my hardtail. You just need to get accustomed to the bike, let it do its thing and let your body learn how the bike responds. Then once you get the muscle memory down, then the fun begins!!
 

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I went from an AM 26er w/ agressive geometry to a 120mm FS 29er. Before I made the switch I made sure my bar height , seat position, suspension settings etc. mimicked my 26er. After a few rides and suspension adjustments, stem changes etc. I realized the 29er wasn't working for me and it boiled down to a 70.5* HA vs. the 67.5* of my 26er.
 

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Just Ride
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Leaving a wally 26 FS, I took to my 29er HT straight away. It felt natural to me first time out. Course I'd only been riding a few months after 10 years off, so that may have had something to do with it?

Sorry, not much help.
 

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Depending on the bike you get/got, the setup might be problematic. Some of them do their best to ensure that things like BB height, SO height etc are pretty much the same as for a 26er. Others don't.

As has been previously mentioned, I also made sure that the setup between my XC 26er was replicated on my XC 29er, making them as close as possible.

However, after all that, they are different bikes, so the handling is different. It takes a little while to get the hang of things. As has been said, take corners wider, etc.

Hang in there, you will get it sorted!
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Thanks!

Thanks for all the advice. I think I need to ride a lot more, and maybe on trails that don't have so many rocks. I'll try taking the turns wider, and I think I'm going to lower my seat a bit.

I really should have saved the measurements from my old bike, but I didn't, and now it's long gone.

thanks,
Bob
 

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Unfortunately, I find myself panicking and putting my foot down a lot more than I used to. I feel like I'm way up off the ground and it's a little intimidating, 'cause I feel like I have a long way to fall if I do.
This feeling has got to be psychological. There is one thing to keep in mind. A 29" bike is not a 26" frame with bigger wheels. All things being equal the bottom bracket is about the same height from the ground on both bikes and the seat should be about the same height above the ground (on both bikes). The axles/dropouts are higher relative to the bottom bracket and if anything results in greater stability.
 

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OP, what was your 26er bike and what is your current 29er? Fit could be an issue and you just maybe don't have the cockpit dialed yet, but it could also be that your old 26er was a lot different geo wise compared to a 29er. Also if you still have your old 26er try measuring the BB drop and then the drop on the 29er, that to me would really give you the ontop instead of in feeling you describe. For me the BB on my first 29er was almost exactly the same as my old 26er and I felt like I'd had the bike a long time on my first ride, instilled confidence like crazy, even off line in the rougher stuff.
 

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Longer Fork Maybe

I have a HT frame (Sette Razzo) that is rated to use an 80mm or 100mm fork. I had been riding it at 80mm and recently took the spacer out of the Reba. It felt like a totally different bike at 100mm. At 80mm it felt like the front end was not stable. As if it had a mind of it's own, I didn't trust it to track the way I wanted. Both on downhills and in the turns. Now the thing rails the corners, the extra travel makes a great difference downhill. I am shocked what an effect something I thought would be minor has made.
 

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all these guys are onto something, and there are many variables. most people feel more stable (some to the point of boredom), others less stable, depending on what they were riding before. SO many variables, but try these 2 things. most importantly #1- make sure you have 30" bars on your bike, and a short stem, like 75mm max. this will be good if the frame is otherwise the right size.
#2- run the meatiest tires you can put on your bike, like Nevegals or Rampages, or Purgatories. if all else is right with the bike, take those steps, then loosen up and you will start to rip, i'm confident!
 

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Give the platforms a shot. I clipped in for years when I rode a 26er, so when I bought a 29er I thought I would do the same. A friend of mine talked me into using platform pedals until I got used to the 29er. Not sure if it's right, but the platforms have given me a bit more confidence because of the bail factor. I'm not sure I'm going back.
 

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totally, platforms, wide bars, short stem, lower that seat. unless there is something fundamentally wrong with the bike fit, you should feel MORE stable, not less. this is one of the main selling features and why the whole 29er thing has taken off!
 

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Bob- stick with it. Time on the bike is important to feel comfortable as with any new bike. A couple of questions though.

-How many bikes have you actually set up before? All these suggestions concerning fit and angles, but have you ever done it in the past? No disrespect, just curious.

-As a couple of people have asked, what type of bikes are you switching. going DH to HT changes quite a bit in angles, fit and comfort level. This also relates to riding style and lines you are taking. Each type of bike has its own strengths and weaknesses, you have to make sure it fits what you want. Or adjust your style/lines as some suggested.

-How comfortable are you with your clipless pedals? Were they comfortable before? If you were uncomfortable or not confident before, it only gets worse on a new bike.

-Lastly, my biggest suggestion with your transition is to ride. Try to ride easier trails and stay neutral in your body positioning. As your confidence grows, your abilities to push the bike will also. Also, trust the momentum and rolling ability of the 29er wheel. That was probably my biggest adjustment. Sometimes you just have to go and let the bike roll over and through some obstacles to understand the capabilities.

God luck!
 

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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
Thanks Everybody!

Thank you all for taking the time to help me out. I can't wait to put all of your advice to work. Unfortunately my ride is temporarily out of commission, so I'll have to wait until I find a new seat stay. :(

thanks,
Bob
 

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My experience was different. When my 26'er was in the shop, I borrowed a buddy's 29'er. On my first ride I was clearing obstacles and railing corners like never before. The 29'er seemed to inspire more confidence. Both bikes fit me about the same, though. I've since gone back to my 26'er, and still like it, but I'll be looking at a 29'er for my next bike.

If you're having a problem, my guess is it's about the bike or the fit, and not the wheel size.
 
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