29ers or 26ers?

Forums Mountain Bike Forum 29ers or 26ers?

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  • #74349

    BFDBunny Hop

    😮

    Ok…so, I’ve been looking around at buying a new ride, yes I know my current ride sucks, yes, I know it’s a schwinn. Yes, that’s depressing.
    Any thoughts on 29ers as opposed to 26ers?
    I get that 29ers get more traction due to greater trail contact at any given time, but what does that translate to on the trail?
    I’d really like to hear from folks that have switched from one to the other and hear some real opinions from some real people.

    Kthanksbye.
    BFD

    #74350

    Uhhhhh……get the 26er dude.Did you scroll down and read the 29er debate on this forum??Real rider’s ride 26er’s.I havent ever even rode a 29er,although I’ve done enough riding to be able to know what I want.I could talk till I’m blue in the face so I’m not going to.
    I do think the 29er’s are good for cross country though,so if you are going to mainly ride cross country then I would say the 29er is for you.Or as a commuter bike too,I think I would have fun riding a 29er cross town commuting.
    I hope you scroll down and read the 29er debate right here under general mountain biking discussion.

    #74351

    A 29er does ride differently from a 26er of course. The whole traction thing does not make that big of a difference though. Actually because the 29er is naturally taller than a 26er, your center of gravity is higher (makes a huge difference). The 26er is way better when comes to navigating through technical sections and what not. Through turns, a 26er would be your best bet as well due to the height thing. On the flipside of things, the 29er is better when it comes to flat out speed, which in my opinion is the only thing going for it. So as bluntly mentioned before by the clydesdale, the 29er is good for light, flat, cross country and/or commuting from place to place around town. I used one for when I was in college, it was perfect for when I running late for class. I could go anywhere, even where I wasen’t suppost to go when I had my 29er. Got my 26er Ironhorse now, and its quick and nimble compared to my 29er that I had.

    Hope this helps 😃

    #74352

    BFDBunny Hop

    Thanks Spaz, that’s exactly what I wanted/needed to hear!

    #74353

    i do love my gary fisher hi fi+ 26er, but i’ve been coveting the "now on sale" at my local shop hi fi deluxe 29er. i tried it in the parking lot and liked it. the guys in the shop, who are totally not salesmen type, tell me they are selling a LOT of 29ers and that people love them. the one thing about them being not as great in tight sections…if you get a brand new 29er from a company like fisher who makes a lot of them, i bet it would be better in tight spaces than a 26er from 3 or 4 years ago. also ask yourself what % of the time are you really in tight twisty places vs. flats, downhill turns etc? that said, i visited marin county CA’s camp tamarancho last week and if i were on a 29er i might not have made it back due to all of the tight downhill switch backs! i’m thinking hard about it, to be honest.

    #74354

    I ride technical singletrack with my 29er all the time. For example, I rode the south loop at blankets creek today. This trail has lots of tight switchbacks and tech log stunts. I made it through the trail without incident; however, I did see many 26 inch riders get eaten by the log stunts today. The ground clearance and better angle of attack was the difference. If you are downhilling or freeriding, get a 26er. But if you ride anything else, 29er is for you.

    #74355
    "steve32300" wrote

    Real rider’s ride 26er’s. I havent ever even rode a 29er

    Two funny things I would like to point out. First Steve, is Sam Schultz. Sea Otter short track champion and Fisher 29er rider. I think it’s safe to say he is a "real rider". Second is the most important of all; you haven’t even ridden one. So how can you give an honest assesment. Just cause you don’t own one, doesn’t make okay to turn people away from the best trail bikes.

    #74356
    "spazjensen" wrote

    Actually because the 29er is naturally taller than a 26er, your center of gravity is higher (makes a huge difference).

    This is probably the biggest misconception out there about 29ers. Actually the center of gravity is lower because it does NOT sit taller than a 26er and therefore the bottom bracket height in reference to the hub is LOWER giving it a LOWER center of gravity.

    29ers climb better, go over technical terrain better, are more stable.
    26ers turn better.

    Test ride first THEN buy whichever suits your riding style and terrain you most often ride.

    #74357

    Just being honest about not ever even riding a 29er.On my behalf though,I reserve the right to fight for what I believe in,even if I have never ridden a 29er.I dont have anything to worry about if I never ride a 29er because the 26er suit’s my need’s just fine.If you think about it,it’s not that I push what I think on somone who has never ridden a 29 that is looking to buy a bike,but I am pushing how good the 26er is for mountain biking and myself.So if I never ride a 29er,I know in the bottom of my heart that the 26er will keep me happy even after it’s all said and done.
    By now you would think the 29er cool aid drinker’s would get it,I guess not though.I think I have stated what I think fairly in the 29er debate even though there are more lurker’s reading the debate than getting involved by resopnding to the debate on this forum.Where is everyone on the 29er debate????
    Mountain biking is evolving everyday in a monumental way,so much so that some time in the near future the whole 29er thing will be about as big of a deal as handle bar extension’s are today.Wether they stick around or not is still to be seen and only time will tell.But I think they will stick around to be honest.
    But if you can’t seem to realize that this whole 29er thing is a hair splitting event that wont stop and I’m just pushing my own belief’s on a grown adult that can make his own decision’s about buying a mountain bike that sound’s like he doesnt even know what kinda riding he would be doing,then how can a 29er be the best bike for this dude?I really dont think there is a platform that any side can call home to any debate in the mountain bike world and it seem’s to me that everyone has a right to shoot from the hip and push there own belief’s because in the end it’s really just a crap shoot wether or not one is better than the other.
    To me,it’s about commitment to the 26er and not wasting time alway’s trying somthing new(or old,bigger wheel’s are old tech ya know) when if I just stick to my gun’s everything will come to fruition and I can say I never jumped ship even when the captain jumped on his 29er and used the tire’s for a life saver.hahaha.
    Lighten up dude,even though it’s take’s hand’s on experience to learn about somthing and feel it out to see how well it work’s,this is’nt a moon shot and there are plenty of you 29er astronaute’s out there to do all the testing you want to.
    I know exactly what kinda riding I want to do and it doesnt include 29" wheel’s because I am happy and content with the direction of my own riding even if it is old school.But there lie’s the difference in what I think and what they think,I started riding a long time ago,I’m 41 now and started riding before I started school,and my school home work will attest to it that I spent some qaulity time on the bike back then and I love riding more than you will ever understand.In reality,I could ride whatever I want to and make it work for me,I just dont want to change what I got going on.

    #74358

    I have a decent amount of time riding both sides of this fence. I have 26ers in both hardtail and full suspension, and a hardtail 29er is the most recent addition. I am a larger sized guy, and just plain like the feel of the 29er better. The 29er really does everything I have read about, it picks up speed like you haved pressed down the accelerator, rolls nicely over larger obstacles, and I think it handles well – I like how it just rips and carries speed in turns. The climbing is good, and I can side with the only possible weakness being tight, tight turns – but what would be expected on a rig that is just simply bigger?
    As long as we’re all mountain biking we’re doing something right. As was suggested, get out and ride one, unless you have 29eritis. I caught a trek/fisher demo as it was in town and rode a 29er hardtail hi fi out on the trail I most frequent. That was the basis for the latest bike purchase (a different fisher 29er), and it was a good decision.

    #74359
    "Beaker" wrote

    [quote="spazjensen":3al4qnri] Actually because the 29er is naturally taller than a 26er, your center of gravity is higher (makes a huge difference).

    This is probably the biggest misconception out there about 29ers. Actually the center of gravity is lower because it does NOT sit taller than a 26er and therefore the bottom bracket height in reference to the hub is LOWER giving it a LOWER center of gravity.

    29ers climb better, go over technical terrain better, are more stable.
    26ers turn better.

    Test ride first THEN buy whichever suits your riding style and terrain you most often ride.[/quote:3al4qnri]

    They may climb better, but a 26er is much better when it comes to fitting through tighter, faster, much more technical turns and track. I never really had to do any climbing when I had mine. I also found that my 29er actually did sit higher in every aspect (BB, seat height, etc.) and did feel that I wasen’t going fast enough through a turn then I would make it like I would on a 26er.

    #74360
    "steve32300" wrote

    Just being honest about not ever even riding a 29er.On my behalf though,I reserve the right to fight for what I believe in,even if I have never ridden a 29er.I dont have anything to worry about if I never ride a 29er because the 26er suit’s my need’s just fine.If you think about it,it’s not that I push what I think on somone who has never ridden a 29 that is looking to buy a bike,but I am pushing how good the 26er is for mountain biking and myself.So if I never ride a 29er,I know in the bottom of my heart that the 26er will keep me happy even after it’s all said and done.
    By now you would think the 29er cool aid drinker’s would get it,I guess not though.I think I have stated what I think fairly in the 29er debate even though there are more lurker’s reading the debate than getting involved by resopnding to the debate on this forum.Where is everyone on the 29er debate????
    Mountain biking is evolving everyday in a monumental way,so much so that some time in the near future the whole 29er thing will be about as big of a deal as handle bar extension’s are today.Wether they stick around or not is still to be seen and only time will tell.But I think they will stick around to be honest.
    But if you can’t seem to realize that this whole 29er thing is a hair splitting event that wont stop and I’m just pushing my own belief’s on a grown adult that can make his own decision’s about buying a mountain bike that sound’s like he doesnt even know what kinda riding he would be doing,then how can a 29er be the best bike for this dude?I really dont think there is a platform that any side can call home to any debate in the mountain bike world and it seem’s to me that everyone has a right to shoot from the hip and push there own belief’s because in the end it’s really just a crap shoot wether or not one is better than the other.
    To me,it’s about commitment to the 26er and not wasting time alway’s trying somthing new(or old,bigger wheel’s are old tech ya know) when if I just stick to my gun’s everything will come to fruition and I can say I never jumped ship even when the captain jumped on his 29er and used the tire’s for a life saver.hahaha.
    Lighten up dude,even though it’s take’s hand’s on experience to learn about somthing and feel it out to see how well it work’s,this is’nt a moon shot and there are plenty of you 29er astronaute’s out there to do all the testing you want to.
    I know exactly what kinda riding I want to do and it doesnt include 29" wheel’s because I am happy and content with the direction of my own riding even if it is old school.But there lie’s the difference in what I think and what they think,I started riding a long time ago,I’m 41 now and started riding before I started school,and my school home work will attest to it that I spent some qaulity time on the bike back then and I love riding more than you will ever understand.In reality,I could ride whatever I want to and make it work for me,I just dont want to change what I got going on.

    WOW you got something really big up your butt in order to be so uptight abou this whole thing.

    #74361

    your right dude,just thought there would be more people posting up on the subject.I dont like em,but I still want to learn about em,ya know??

    #74362

    Steve:

    First of all I appreciate all your posts and most importantly your opinion – you don’t like 29ers, OK, your perogative. BUT:

    What type of set-up do you have on your current bike? Disc brakes? Full-Suspension?

    My point is this Steve – you seem to be totally against 29ers as if they are "Disco" (just a passing fad). But isn’t this technology at work? Engineers trying to make things better. You use some of this technology already on your current bike, some set-up that is an improvement over the original clunkers. So where is that "line in the sand" that you wont cross?

    I’m not saying that we all need the best and latest technology to enjoy what we do or to appease our individual riding styles. But a lot of this new technology makes our riding experience more fun or just different than it was!

    #74363

    Ahhhhhh…finally a question that made it to my ball park.I made a decision last year to buy a full suspension that had the travel adjustment fork and lock out on both the shock and the fork.Mind you now that I was riding my Pine Mountain Marin hard tail with a very old rock shox that had about two inches of travel.Over the time I had my Marin pine mountain I kept rolling over the thought of getting a full suspension with all the lockout’s and travel adjustment or going into a fully ridged bike.The reason I was waiting was because the suspension stuff was getting better and better with every passing year,so when I started hearing talk of lockout’s and travel adjust’s working like I would expect them to,I decided to give the full suspension a try(insert open mind here,haha) since I could lock it out and ride it like a ridged and turn it to full suspension so I could feel the whole thing out for myself.
    $3500 later and who know’s how much gas,tires(both bike&car),pawl body’s(5 of them),new rear wheel($450),chain’s(I had problem’s because of being a clydesdale at 280 breaking stuff)new seat to fit correctly($60),that’s just the way it goes,I’m not complaining too much here,I like my biking hobby.Not to mention sending my fox Talas back to fox 4 or 5 time’s till it got fixed right,and all the loaner fork’s and trip’s to talk to the lbs when I really just wanted to go riding.
    So to put this all in perspective,I’ve been open minded and honestly tying out stuff and spending hard earned money to give it that good ol’ honest effort to see for a fact what it’s all about for a couple of year’s now.That include’s just waiting for the supspension stuff to get to a point I thought was a good time to jump in and see what,how,why it was all about.
    I posted earlier before that I was looking at getting a fully ridged mountain bike and now I have pretty much made up my mind to do so.I have actually been looking at all the option’s that are out there to build up a ridged bike for the last month or so and honestly,I am getting really excited about it because I really think it’s the way I want to go with my riding.When I first bought a mountain bike I was naturally drawn to at least a hard tail because I rode bmx as a kid and rode bike’s here and there to get to work and stuff in high school.I alway’s wanted to go the ridged route because I know myself that ridged bike’s are the root’s of riding,but like I said,I wanted to put out that good lo’ honest hand’s on try and actually jump in the pit and try it out.Now that I’ve done that and made up my mind,I will be riding a fully ridged,non disk,gear to ss conversion by next summer latest.I already have a hard tail that is going to get a ridged fork very soon to hold me over till I get the master peice built up.

    #74364

    [quote]My point is this Steve – you seem to be totally against 29ers as if they are "Disco" (just a passing fad). But isn’t this technology at work? Engineers trying to make things better. You use some of this technology already on your current bike, some set-up that is an improvement over the original clunkers. So where is that "line in the sand" that you wont cross?

    Well,you know that some of those klunkerz used motorcycle part’s.That technology was even farther ahead of where were at now(if you can get my drift).
    My view here is this,we have mountain biking,the more thing’s stay the same,the more they change.In order to stay in touch with this saying,we need to stay on the original idea,(26er’s).Not some 29" wheel that doesnt even have enough advantage’s over the 26er to make a differnce.If your thinking it make’s it easier to roll over stuff,your right,but where does that put your inherant skill’s???I’ll tell you,it put’s all your skill’s into the bike.I think I’ll take the credit for riding that knarly rock garden and not give it to my bike.To top all that off,bigger wheel’s have alway’s been in use.They new all about bigger wheel’s when the mountain bike started to sell by conmpany’s.Why did’nt they put 29er’s on em then if there so great???
    I assure you,if it was such a money making idea or good for riding to put 29er’s on em,they would of thought of that from the get go of mountain biking.How long has it been since the moutain bike first started selling in store’s???Even if they do become bigger,better seller’s or equal to,the 26er is the origianl idea and is what put mountain bike’s in the history book’s,not 29er’s.Life get’s hard,and so do decision’s,but we need to stick to the what actually got us to this great mountain biking thing we got.
    Those dude’s that started mountain biking didnt have full suspension or full blown corperate building’s with the equipment to make what ever they felt like makeing to enhance there biking adventure’s,they used what they had from dumpster’s or whatever they could find and look what they have given us,wonderful and great mountain biking.
    No matter how much thing’s evolve in the mountain biking world,the origianal idea that got the mountain biking movement up and rolling will alway’s(and I repeat"ALWAY’S)be the core reason mountain biking is what it is.Change is good,but we dont have a good enough reason to change anything(especially wheel size to 29"),I’m so happy with what is the origianl idea of mountain biking,I would’nt change a damn thing.
    It’s the effect on my riding that I dont want changed,I dont care about the bike untill totally unreasonble changes start to happen,and for me,that would be 29" wheel’s.

    #74365

    OK – I’ll bite! 😆

    First…there are too many comments that I’ve seen to quote, so I’ll just throw out a general post.

    I remember when I loved my 20", single-speed(hmmm?), BMX bike…building trails in the woods because we all know that the woods and construction sites were some of the key spots where we could get our fix when the BMX tracks were closed and locked. I remember seeing 26" "ATB’s" start filtering into shops in the 80’s and the folks in the shops saying it was the future. I still loved riding my 20" BMX bike too much to even flinch. Funny that many of the same arguments above could be made back then: speed(20 vs 26), gears, center of gravity, along with durability. Remember when some manufacturers even produced 24" BMX bikes.

    Personally, and I think some may agree, I think that the 29 was the birthchild of some engineers behind a shop on a 4:20 break – saying:
    "OK, we go UP 3in. more in wheel diameter, BUT we go BACK to single-speed and a rigid frame! The geometry will take care of itself!"
    Then they woke up the next day and said "You mean they actually bought that?!?" This is not a dig against 29ers or that their riders have bought into a conspiracy…personally I love to see the lifestyle and sport continue to evolve to our benefit! That’s what got us to your 26", fully sprung, disc brake, alum./carbon fiber/Ti bike-du-jour that is now mainstream.

    Any question as to my belief in 29’s being OK…I am really anxious to see the Trek 69er up close and personal! A 29" front and 26" rear hybrid – now THAT’S a real PLATYPUS!!:
    http://www.trekbikes.com/uk/en/bikes/20 … pfuel69er/

    http://www.trekbikes.com/uk/en/bikes/20 … nglespeed/
    The only thing I wonder with these 69ers is with a 26" rear, would that decrease some of the top speed capabilities realized by 29ers since the rear wheel is your pedal-power wheel?

    Here are some of the thoughts around the 29’s:
    – There was a question as to WHY 29’s weren’t the go-to diameter/dimension instead of the 26. I think this is a simple answer of improvements over time in design, strength of materials, production, etc. Designs and materials of the 80’s and 90’s were not feasible or cost too much for the average consumer, the market had to evolve.

    – I agree and believe there is a higher center-of-gravity on 29s varying on geometry of the frame to compensate…but in the end we’re talking about raising the heaviest part of the bike – you…the meat puppet – anywhere upwards around 1.5 inches. That will raise COG or you will compensate with some changes to the frame geometry which then fool with the characteristics of the ride. So..higher COG means a bit more low speed instability, and some instability landing air – especially on unsure terrain. Not saying it can’t be done, you’ll get used to the feel of whatever bike you ride often – just be prepared if you are already unsure of your capabilities on your 26.

    – 29s have a longer wheelbase – both +’s and -‘s here. Another technical control vs stability at speed argument.

    – I think 29s do have better obstacle roll-over capability due to contact angle of the tire. But, if you try to compensate too much for COG(above) – you take away one of the enhancements of a 29" wheel – namely, frame clearance(BB) in some circumstances.

    – 29’s cover more distance per revolution of the wheel, however it takes a little more time and maybe umf to get rolling. I’ve heard "faster acceleration" but I don’t completely buy into that. Acceleration may not seem like a big deal – but this is where you look at WHAT you ride. Do you frequent long flowing ‘track with minimal turns in the 60-90 degree range? Great, this kind of trail would allow you to keep those big wheels turnin…takin you home to your kin!
    But if you’re on trails with technical, hard turns where you are going 20mph and then 2mph over and over, this may tend to wear on you over the distance and your 26" may be the way to go.
    Most of us have a mix of both types of trail options – so that’s where the decision making comes in and you have to decide what you want coupled with what you can spend.

    – As far as the bike doing "my work for me"… I AM ALL FOR IT! Here’s the contradiction of the statement in the forum post above…how many of us have a bike that matches this description: 26", Fully Sprung, disc or V brakes, made with some exotic materials. If you’re riding this kind of bike(or something close to it), then you believe in having THE BIKE do as much work and taking as much abuse SO YOU DON’T HAVE TO! That’s one of the big reasons for technology and innovation – Better, Faster, Stronger! The only image I can think of that would represent a true "purist" would be something like this:
    http://www.louisvillebicycleclub.org/gifs/lwbike2.jpg

    – The bigger the diameter the wheel(ie-from 20" to 26" to 29"), the more chance of the infamous TACO from sideways torsion. However, some of this has been answered over the years in strength of design and materials.

    – Cost…some 29 products/components may be more difficult to find and their price may be a little higher than what you would expect to pay for standard 26" stuff. I think the cost aspect is minimal – probably more the availability that’s the pain, for now anyway.

    – And then there’s the "Windows Effect"…Notice how when a new version of something comes out – there are those bold few who camp out in front of the store, riding the wave, with caution thrown to the wind? Well, that’s where the Windows Effect applies(MAC users fill-in-the-blank with say, "iPhone Effect" here). Now, this effect faults neither party, the fanatic who is on the cutting edge or those of us who laugh at them sitting in the snow as we watch the 11 o’clock news from our cozy dens with a bourbon in-hand and a naked woman massaging our back…What? Isn’t that how YOU watch the news?
    Point being…the pioneer hangs it out there and experiences all that the new technology and design has to offer – along with some of the flaws and cost that goes with first iterations to the market.
    Those of us who follow the bushwhacked path may save some dough and we also benefit in the long-term improvements to designs that have been made due to enterprise competition, shop returns(learning about inferior desings from broken frames/components and such), customer comments/market response, etc.
    The downside there…we the slow-pokes may be missing out on something great and if no one takes that initial plunge the market for the new product dies and innovation dies with it.

    The 29 wave is not for me – yet. I love my current wheels with all the gears I care to flip at the tips of my fingers – I also don’t have the dough to throw around. But…I remember my mindset when I was a kid in the 80’s thinking my BMX bike is ALL I’ll ever need. Peace be to all – 26 & 29 alike!

    #74366

    I am 250 lbs, and ride some pretty gnarly rocks, roots, and jumps. I have not had to have my 29inch wheels trued even one bit.

    #74367

    I see and hear so much hypocracy out there. HOw can you say how you want to keep mountian biking "original" and for what it was intended for and ride on a dual suspended, disc brake, (insert exotic material here) frame, with a ? speed cassette and clipless pedals, etc. ????

    Remember those guys?? Gary Fischer, Joe Breeze, Tom Ritchey…they make mountain bikes and/or parts that help us go bigger, faster, longer.

    The sanctity of the sport is not compromised a bit by 29" tires, IMHO. Why where they not built like this originally?? Materials to build a 29" tire to adequate strength would have made the bike to heavy. Look at the VERY recent advancement in just the 29er technology – they now have FULL suspension 29ers – that didn’t happen right away.

    Can YOU the rider make it thru that rock garden and not just b/c the bike?? The bike is an extension of you and just because you can afford the best technology out there does NOT automatically make you the best rider out there.

    I hope we always have a choice between 26 and 29" tires and I can’t wait to see what the next innovation will be. 29ers do not change the design or idea about mtn biking they enhance it (for some).

    Did composite materials in skis ruin snowskiing? Did facemasks ruin the integrity of football? Does carbon fiber technology ruin road bikes (or mtn bikes for that matter)?

    #74368

    Rolling 26’s but with 2.4 MotoRaptors with no.tubes, bout as big, bout as heavy, lots of volume. Friends say 29’s roll and climb slower as they ride em. But smooth through the rough, just a give and take as always.

    Jing, Jing~~~~ ON YOUR RIGHT

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