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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
I got my 1st bike close to 2 years ago. A 26" hardtail. I had a fulll suspension 29'er in mind for my next bike. Untill recently, i hadn't even tried a 29'er. But i've now tried a friends Giant 29'er fs. Now i'm not knocking the Giant, it's a good bike and it does what it's meant to do. It is more comfortable and you may even find that you'll be a fraction quicker on it. But i'm still not sold. I don't really know how best to explain it? It's kind of like doing 20mph in a big comfortable car, like a Ford Mondeo, and then doing 20mph in a Go-Kart. They'll both do it, but the Mondeo will seem like your doing 5mph with comfort and ease, where the Go-Kart will seem like your doing a hundred mile an hour and will require skill to handle. I like the idea of the comfort, but for me there's just a little bit too much fun that's been lost to achieve it. I like the fact that there's new wheel sizes, 27.5 and 29'er, because it's great to have options. Afterall, we tend to see the same product differently. But i hate the fact that these new wheel sizes have come at the death of the 26". I can't comment on 27.5 as i haven't tried one yet. What are your views? What's your favourite wheel sizes? Is the death of 26" a good thing? If your a 29'er person, how have you found your wheels in terms of strength? The reason i ask is, i was watching a short video on hardtail of the year by some bike magazine thing. While they were out testing a variety of ht's, one of the wheels on a 29'er just snapped. The first thing said out of the tester's moths were, " that wouldn't have happened on a 26'er " Have any of you 29'er guys had issues like that? Or was it just a rare thing?
 

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Discussion Starter · #2 ·
Sorry, i did use paragraphs but it won't let have em, lol. Even after an edit.
 

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27.5 and 68 degrees. I like my bikes nimble, so the 29er is to big. I think it would be good in a hardtail but it is just too much for anything else. Of course that is just my opinion. Slim
 

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I'm not a particularly technical rider and have the antihesis of what you want, a rigid 29er SS. It suits me perfectly both in fit and where I ride. I can chuck it about for what I want. It feels good and I don't care about the tech behind it tbh.

For me there's also the aesthetics side of things. I'm tall and somewhat chunky. When manufacturers advertise bikes the 26ers pictures they always use are the smaller frames to keep the proportions right. The 29er allowed me to get a bike that looked right too.

As with all these things it's personal choice. Only you can decide what suits you best. Try and ride some demo bikes and see whats right, you'll feel it when it is.
 

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The wheel size "debate" is just like the suspension travel back when. Most of what you said in your post was said about suspension.

"Debating" on whether one wheel size is "best" or "better" is like debating "how much suspension travel is best".

If you understand the tools of the trade, and your own style and strengths, choosing the correct wheel size for your needs is not that difficult.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
I agree i'll have to try some 27.5 and 29'ers. My next bike will be one of these two. Mainly because 26'ers are no longer an option really. They've been killed off. Lots of companies aren't making them anymore.

I'v only tried one 29'er, so i'm not going to be too quick to judge them. But based on my experience, however brief, i find the 26" much more to my taste. More fun imo. I suppose therefore, i'll be happier on a 27.5.

But do you think the death of 26" is a good thing?
 

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29 wheels roll over things easier than smaller wheels. They have a larger contact patch than smaller wheels. Those facts aren't changing.
29 bikes continue to develop. Two bikes can be night and day different and fs adds the rear suspension impact on pedaling into the handling equation. Giant's rear suspension design for 29s takes up too much space to shorten the chanstay length like the other guys are doing to make 29 fs bikes more nimble. Instead of going with a new design they are switching to 27.5. They just aren't making it in 29s. If you try other bikes you can find a nimble bike in a 29 fs. Try the Whyte T29
Whyte T-129 ? first ride review - BikeRadar
You may be feeling the lack of trail feel you get with a rear suspension. On some trails that can take out a lot of the fun.
For a 29 hardtail with some of the rear compliance of a full sus but with great trail feel try the new carbon Trek Superfly 9.6-9.8 bikes on a demo. That may be all you need for your level of trail.
Ride those two bikes and come back with your impressions.
Once I did hear of a 26 wheel tacoing but....any size wheel can fail and some 29 wheels are very strong especially carbon wheels.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Good points.

Do you think that Giant's prediction could prove to be right? They basically have said that, they now see the industry being massively dominated by 650b. And that's mainly there focus from now on. They will be continuing with 29'ers on a smaller scale, but they have no confidence that they'll be involved with 29'ers long term. And this is how they see the industry going.

Basically, it seems as though they think there's a good chance that in the not too distant future, 29'ers will go the same way as 26'ers and become virtually extinct.

I hope they're wrong. I'm a fan of choice. I'd hate to think that all those people who prefer 29'ers will no longer have them as an option, just like is happening to people who prefer 26'ers.
 

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But do you think the death of 26" is a good thing?
It's only dead on the internet; still alive and well on the trails IME.

Don't worry, I'm sure in a few more years, they'll be the 'next best thing' again and all the marketing victims will 'need' them for their faster acceleration, lighter weight, better handling, and superior strength. :rolleyes:


;)
 

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It's only dead on the internet; still alive and well on the trails IME.

Don't worry, I'm sure in a few more years, they'll be the 'next best thing' again and all the marketing victims will 'need' them for their faster acceleration, lighter weight, better handling, and superior strength. :rolleyes:


;)
They're dead at the LBS, too. Maybe it's a regional thing, but around here 26" is basically extinct and has been for a couple of years. You still see older 26ers on the trail, but anyone who's bought a new bike in the last few years will almost always be on a 29er. Then again, the types of trails we have generally play to the 29er's strengths.

What I foresee is the 27.5" wheel replacing 26" in trail/AM applications, and going forward we will have two wheel sizes, 27.5" and 29". 26ers will become a niche product for DH/DJ/Freeride bikes, and will also continue to come on cheap, low-end department store bikes.
 

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Good points.

Do you think that Giant's prediction could prove to be right? They basically have said that, they now see the industry being massively dominated by 650b. And that's mainly there focus from now on. They will be continuing with 29'ers on a smaller scale, but they have no confidence that they'll be involved with 29'ers long term. And this is how they see the industry going.

Basically, it seems as though they think there's a good chance that in the not too distant future, 29'ers will go the same way as 26'ers and become virtually extinct.

I hope they're wrong. I'm a fan of choice. I'd hate to think that all those people who prefer 29'ers will no longer have them as an option, just like is happening to people who prefer 26'ers.
Giant has gone in whole hog and is betting the short-term farm on 650b/27.5 wheels. Of course they are going to say that. Eventually, they will have to capitulate to consumer demand to a large extent. In the mean time, Giant, and a host of others will ride this wave until they can latch onto the next latest/greatest.

It certainly would make life easier and less costly for the industry (especially bike manufacturers) to have one wheel size to deal with instead of two or three.
 

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I see tons of 26" on the trails too. I think eb and I have the same stomping grounds, so some legit DH in our area and we're within striking distance of lift-assisted riding.

I like my 29er. But I like the way it climbs, and its smoothness on rolling and climbing singletrack, and went with 100 mm of suspension travel. So it's not the monster than a longer-travel 29er can be.

Bottom line, the industry has discovered too much of a good thing in changing up wheel sizes. If 26" really drops out, in a few years, they'll show up again on something, so the companies can sell another bike to people who only have 29" or 650B.
 

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They're dead at the LBS, too.

Personally, that's about the last place I'd buy a bike, so whatever they're pushing today means nothing to me. :)

I feel bad for the new guys that have to go this route though. Lack of choices suck for riders, and having all these newer riders on 29ers isn't going to do our local tight'n'twisty'n'tech trails any favors as far as blown out corners, etc.
 

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Personally, that's about the last place I'd buy a bike, so whatever they're pushing today means nothing to me. :)

I feel bad for the new guys that have to go this route though. Lack of choices suck for riders, and having all these newer riders on 29ers isn't going to do our local tight'n'twisty'n'tech trails any favors as far as blown out corners, etc.

Compare a 29er with a 70 HTA and a shorter wheel base to a slacked out 26" bike with a HTA of 67 and a longer wheel base....

How is it that automatically the 29er will be inferior on the tight and twisties?
 

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Compare a 29er with a 70 HTA and a shorter wheel base to a slacked out 26" bike with a HTA of 67 and a longer wheel base....

How is it that automatically the 29er will be inferior on the tight and twisties?
Not automatically of course, but not all that uncommon either. As always in the end, it really all boils down to the particular bike, rider and trail, but in general, I think bigger wheels tend to like bigger lines. I also think the 'roll over anything' aspect of 29" wheels is kind of overblown. I've watched a ton of people get hung up on some pretty insignificant stuff.

I'm not really very serious about them blowing out all the trails. It's probably a safe bet that a good segment of the riders that gravitate towards 29" HTs would be making the same line choices if they were on 26". I just like busting my buddies' balls when they blow corners on their big hoops. :p
 
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