The 29ER DEBATE

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This topic contains 52 replies, has 19 voices, and was last updated by  flamdrag8 10 years, 8 months ago.

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  • #73810

    The debate is thickening every day with opinions. I want to know what you think about the BIG wheels. Do you have ’em, want ’em, or just like the idea of riding the monster truck wheels. Personally, I love the benefits I get from my wagon wheels. Now I know not everyone has ridden one, or some of you may have ridden an early one that had crappy geometry/components. If so tell me your stories.

  • #73811

    I was very skeptical with all the hype about the 29er. However I had an opportunity to ride one for just a little while and liked the feel. I tried another friends toward the beginning of the month and liked how it felt so I went to the LBS and test rode a couple different sizes. I was also just wanting a new toy so I purchased one earlier this month.

    I’ve ridden it several times and didn’t notice mcuh difference up hills other than the gearing is a little different mostly due to it being 9 spd and all my other bikes were still 8 spd. It seemed to roll faster on the downhills and did very well in the rocy sections. However I didn’t really push it hard or notice a great difference till I rode with our weekly group ride.

    I’m always the guy in the back of the pack, old and slow, however on our group ride I noticed I was up in the middle of the pack and at times in front. I still felt as slow as usual on the uphills, however I was rolling over stuff easier than usual and climbed a bunch quicker even though I was in granny on the same climbs as usual. On the downhills, no that I’m getting the feel for the bike, it is fast and handles great and I was keeping up with the guys who usually can leave me a bit. Why did it seem I was faster?

    Daahhh ! Bigger wheels ? I suppose there is something to it. The bike eats up rock gardens like my 5.5" FS and handles better than my 26" HT in the tight twisting turns of our local riding area. I’m totally impressed with the Gary Fisher Cobia, with G2 technology, after only three weeks of ownership.

    ODN

  • #73812

    That is really cool that we got some people who dig ’em like I do. But are there any haters out there who really hate 29ers? If so, why? Here is your chance to state your case. 😉

  • #73813

    Well first of all,the whole 29er debate is really just the same ol’,same ol’.I mean,which came first the smaller wheel or the bigger wheel?remember when wagon wheels ruled the fonteir?or the big wheel bicycles?or even the big ol’ wheels that used to be on automobiles way back in the day?I think the whole 29er wheel debate is just an advertiser’s illusion to use as leverage to sell you a bike.When somone has the ball’s to use a 29er on a pro curcuit down hill race,then you will have my attention.I just hate all this hype foggin up the real deal idea of just ridin.cant we all just leave each other alone and quit hangin on each other’s back.
    But I digress,if you want to ride a 29er because you like it,then more power to ya,but I just cant see a 29er wheel being any good for anything except for xc riding.The wheel is just too big to keep your skills as sharp as riding a 26" wheel.It’s cumbersome and reactc’s slowly to the action of progressive riding.

    p.s. This post is open to the critics because I have never even sat on a 29er.hahahaha.But you DID ask for the hater’s opinion.

  • #73814

    What evidence is there of 26" being "better than" 29" wheels? I challenge you to do more research. http://www.29ercrew.com 😎

  • #73815

    Steve, I like that fact that you displayed your ideas here in this forum. My question to you and other nonbelievers is, have you tried the new G2 technology.? If so your argument is flawed. 😏

  • #73816
    "flamdrag8" wrote

    have you tried the new G2 technology.? If so your argument is flawed. 😏

    I have to admit, I was pretty skeptical about 29ers until I rode the new Fisher with the G2 and I think that I am in love. I just took it on a pretty easy trail up at Lory, was there for demo day yesterday, and fell in love. It feels so much more stable than anything I have ever ridden because you have more wheel in front and behind you. If only I could include giddyness in my post… 😃 😃 😃 😃 😃 😎

  • #73817

    No doubt the bigger wheel’s can cover more ground and like soph said,they can make you feel more stable with more wheel size,and here is where the debate get’s it’s spark and turns into a blazing fire of curiosity.I said in one of my earlier post’s here on this thread that the big wheel thing is just the same ol’ same ol’ that manufacture’s use to sell you a bike.And it’s such an old(as in old west technology like wagon wheel’s)that nobody uses it anymore and the bike manufacture’s are using this OLD technology as leverage to capture your curiosity and sell you technology that was essentially used for the fronteirsman that had no road’s and were going places in wagons that were for the most part very unpredictable roads that were not maintained and could have any number of obstacles that could take out a wagon wheel and leave you and your wagon stranded in the middle of nowhere and leave you to the elements,wildlife,or the many gunman roaming the country side looking for easy pray.Those bigger wheel’s were used because the smaller one’s would break down alot easier than the bigger one’s in the respect that bigger wheel’s have alot more potential to just roll over the rut’s,rock’s,pothole’s,and whatever obstacle’s interfereed with there travel’s.Now,here is where a person either turns left in the fork in the road or turn’s right in the fork in the road.They either think the 29er is a wheel that can make there trail’s more user freindly and just roll over stuff or a person can turn right and go with the 26er wheel and forget about trying to relive our fronteir day’s gone by because we dont have the same problems they did and plus the fact that technology has come soooo far that using a bigger wheel just does’nt have any justification like it use to.Now,I dont have anything at all against someone feeling sentimental about our fronteir day’s and the technology that was afforded to them back then,but I gotta say;the point to evolution is that we live on the cutting edge and live with the changes that come to us wether we like em or not,and to me riding the 26er is where your riding skills are going to bennifit you the most and that is where I am at in my personal riding,I want all I can get out of it.So that is why I dont see the 29er thang the way you do,although I do feel sentimental about those "wagon wheel’s" because I do so adore our fronteirsman for being the icebreaker’s they were so we could live on this amazing land and ride our mountain bike’s on it.
    So,to explain just a little more to my point,skill wise the smaller wheel will keep you sharper and the bigger wheel will keep you,,,,,,,,,,,well,less sharper.Like I said,if they could have avoided using the bigger wagon wheels,they sure the hell would have.They did not need them if the roads were more user freindly.I just think that even if you are looking for the absolute most technical and obstructed trail you can find,we have the technology already built into the bike’s we have(w/o 29" wheels)that can already do whatever a 29er can do plus more(including keeping your skills sharper).The 29er wheel’s remind me of cruiser bike’s,imagine if you were to take a cruiser bike out on the trail,it’s slower,doesnt react quick enough to your prompts when riding (aggressivly),and just generally cant get out of it’s own way.So if you like to "CRUISE"the trails instead of riding aggressivelly,then you my freind have an excuse to use the 29er wheel’s.I challenge you to get a cruiser bike and put on some mountain bike handle bars and take that thing for a spin on a good technical trail with at least a few good technically rocky downhill drops and see how well that goes for you.I feel that that bike will pitch you up and over the top of it like a 7 foot wrestler on saturday night wrestling.hahahahahaha.
    Seriously,the bigger wheel’s might feel good(sentimentally)although the smaller wheel’s(technologically)are making you better(as in,a better rider).

  • #73818

    Steve – while I understand what ur saying I can t agree with it. If you use the same argument then why use a full suspension bike?? Or front suspension for that matter? Why use disc brakes over conventional side-pulls?? All these technological advancements have helped us clear more obstacles or clear them faster and cleaner. We can still challenge ourselves and become better riders while utilizing technology. There are advantages to 26" and to 29" bikes depending on your riding style and location…let the debate continue!

  • #73819

    Yes yes yes,let the debate continue,becuase that’s exactly what is going to happen.And yes,I am self concious everytime I get on my full suspension because I rode bmx as a kid and knew how to make that ridged bike work it’s butt off for me and knew how to get my legs and arms to do the same.I also have been thinking that everytime I go to ride somthing extreme,as in creek riding,spill way rock gardens,or up on dakota ridge here in morrison colorado,that I am going to get a suspension corrected ridged fork for my hard tail and keep the rim brakes on it so I dont screw up my $3500 full suspension riding extreme stuff that I like to do because it reminds me of riding in my bmx day’s pulling wicked jumps,stunts,trick’s,and making turns through sweeper turns on bmx track’s that got nothing but high fives and pat’s on the back that to this day still gives me chills to think about.That was then and this is now though and I’m way to big and to far out of it to get back on a bmx bike,so I guess with that being said on my part,I just cant see using a 29er wheel from my point of view.
    That being said,I’ll let you in on somthing I’ve been thinking about a little lately:I been thinking that when I see myself in pictures on my stumpjumper that I look kinda big for bike’s and have people say the same thing here and there.Then one day I started to think maby the 29er wheel’s might be just the right size for me and maby other clydesdale rider’s.What do you think???I gotta say though dude,I still think that the fact that bigger wheel’s are still OLD technology and arent gonna get you anywhere more than a 26er wheel will.But like you said,it’s got alot to do with a rider’s personal riding style and how they like to ride.
    So yes,the debate continue’s and I would like to say that one day somone will get all the fact’s written down on paper so we can the look at the big picture here without wondering which wheel might be the better way to go when buying a bike at the lbs.Even then though,it’ll still come down to the way a rider ride’s or like’s to ride.
    At least I’m fair though and told you what I thought the 29er could be used for and still hold true to my thought’s about the 29er wheels and mountian bike’s.I was wondering the other day too what would a road bike be like with 29er wheel’s?????Hmmmmmm.Now tell me,why dont the road dude’s use the 29er wheel’s??I’m thinking because they are just too much rotational mass and even riding in a straight line they are cumbersome and dont relate to a rider’s body language,and further yet,I couldnt imagine even though I dont ride road and dont plan to ride a road bike,what it would be like going into a turn while racing with numerous other rider’s the unsettleing way a bigger wheel would act while trying to hold a strict line so as to not crash a bunch of other racer’s and yourself.Are there any road rider’s out there that want to respond????

  • #73820

    Fortunately, I ride road also…maybe even more than off raod. 😃

    A couple reasons I don’t see bigger wheels on a road bike..

    1) You already mentioned rotational mass – the most important part of weight shaving is in the rotational weight. Bigger wheels = larger mass.

    2) Agility – the larger tires simply won’t respond as quickly as the 700cc tires would – this is also one of the biggest arguments against 29ers vs. 26". With the higher speeds on road the agility is paramount.

    3) Quickness – you lose some of the initial ‘pop’ when you want to accelerate using a larger tire. This isn’t a huge concern for mountain biking but is more so on the road.

    4) The number one biggest advantage to 29ers is their ability to roll over the "big stuff". Unless you’re using your road bike in an area taht doesn’t have ‘roads’ you lose the advantage and starting realizing more of the disadvantages.

    Steve you bring up a good point about relative size between rider and bike – maybe you should give one a try. If you can’t find a local shop to let you demo, there is one in Loveland on Rte 34 called Mountain High Cyclery. The owner’s name is Larry and he has a large that he will let you demo – take it to the Devil’s Backbone and let ‘er rip!!!!!!!!

  • #73821

    I just can’t get behind this movement, I have yet to find one I like and right now I am not in the market for another XC bike so, I don’t really care. I have passed many of people on 29ers. And seems like the trails that are super tight they are having the hardest time getting around now on the flatter trails they do keep up pretty well. But has more people use them and figure them out around here those 29er guys are getting faster, I think the engine matters more then the bike.29ers are just not my thing.

  • #73822

    Hey flamdrag8,I dont have a clue what that G2 technology is,would you be so kind as to tell us(mostly me)what the G2 tech. is all about?I dont know if you read my earlier post,but I may have found a reason to at least check out a 29er for myself and other clydesdale rider’s.An open mind is a healthy mind,hahaha.thanks dude.

  • #73823
    "steve32300" wrote

    I may have found a reason to at least check out a 29er for myself and other clydesdale rider’s.

    I don’t really know how big you are Steve but my bf is 6’7" and ~300ish, when he got on a 29 it was like night and day for him.

  • #73824

    Man,6’7" is pretty tall soph,I am 6’2" and 280 plbs..My bike does’nt feel smaller when I’m riding,just when I look at picture’s of myself riding it,and I ride an XL stumpjumper which is the biggest one I can get.When I was shopping for a bike to buy last summer I didnt know what size would be right for me and the second I walked into a bike shop and started to talk to salesman,the first thing they said was "you need an XL".They made me ride the L first so I could really see the difference between the L and XL,and although I thought the XL would be and feel too big,which it did at first,the XL was the resounding choice when it came down to pulling out the cash.It felt just like how you said the 29er felt the first time you got on one,like there was more bike in front and behind you and not like a milk crate on wheel’s.I attribute that feel to the bigger frame and not the wheel’s because when I changed frame sizes and felt that feeling it was still on the same size wheel’s which are the 26er wheel’s.A 29er frame has to be bigger to accept the bigger wheel’s.Now I have a question I want to ask,are 29er bike’s(wheel’s and frame’s)a part of bike sizing or is it just something a clydesdale rider like soph’s boyfreind(6’7" and 300ish)is riding because there just arent frame sizes made for the really big clydesdale rider’s?
    I’m really starting to think that the people getting into 29er’s are people who think like road bike rider’s and think that the quickest way between two points is the straightest line.I myself see mountain biking as a way to get away from that thinking and get out and ride the mountain’s for what they are,jagged,rough,twisty,bumpy,challenging to get through,and pretty much got the kitchen sink in there to see if I can ride it or not.If I ride a 29er,it get’s too easy to ride because those bigger wheel’s just roll over everything.Now you can ride the mountain’s how ever you want to,and it’s not that I think the 29er’s are totally useless,as a matter of fact I kinda think the bigger wheel’s just might make a rider a little more braver because the bigger wheel’s make you ride farther off the ground and force you to commit a little more because of it.I kinda like that,it’s kinda like riding a horse,a lord know’s you gotta be brave and trusting to ride a horse.I just cant seem to except the idea of just rolling over everything.
    just my thought,,,,,,, 😆

  • #73825

    I do know guys that are pretty small that love the 29er but most of them are SSers and ride fully ridged.

  • #73826

    i’ve only been riding about a year, but i’m fairly aggressive and have the bruises to prove it (maybe i just suck tho?). seems to me that if i could go faster on the trails (due to more traction of the larger wheels), climb easier and go over obstacles better, i’d enjoy riding even more. as far as rolling over obstacles too easily, i’d just be even more aggressive and go over stuff that right now is too big for me to try on my 26" Gary Fisher Hi Fi Plus. as for agility, with the advances in technology, it would not surprise me if a good 2008 or 2009 29er (like a new Fisher) were as agile as the 2006 26" Stumpjumpers in the tight spots. My bike is only a year old, so my wife would kill me if i went out and spent 2500 on a new 29er, but i’m seriously thinking about it for a couple of years from now or if i have an unexpected windfall. Would love to spend some quality time on one soon though to check it out.

  • #73827

    I bought a used gary fisher sugar 293, 29er full suspension, bike earlier this year. I didn’t set out to buy a 29er but it was the first bike I bid on on e-bay that didn’t end up going way over what I thought it was worth. My old bike is a low-end iron horse hard tail so its not really a fair comparison but I do like the gary fisher better ;). I’m not a big guy at 5’10" and a 150lbs but it fits me well. I don’t know how much of its the 29" wheels, the FS, or just the fact this bike isn’t too damn big for me but my confidence has gone way up along with my speeds and climbing ability.

  • #73828

    I was wondering what and how a 29er does in the sand,like at slick rock trail in moab.Threre is a pretty good sand pit up there and I did alright on my 26er till my body weight(280 plbs.) sank me,and my buddie’s rode on by that are not near my body weight and they were on 26er’s also.
    I was also wondering to a cetain extent what everyone thought about the bigger wheel’s and how they might or might not wear on the trail’s.Does anyone think the bigger wheel’s might be harder on the trail’s??Kind of a hair splitting question,although this is a debate and with the rising popularity of the 29er taking hold there will be masses of 29er’s in the future pounding the trail’s on a regular basis as much as the 26er’s.

  • #73829

    Good questions Steve….

    I think both questions can be answered with the same concept – width not circumference.

    If you look at true ‘sand’ tires they are very wide so they float more on the sand rather than dig deep. I think the easiest way to visualize this is would a 26" mtb roll better thru the sand than a 27" road bike??

    The same concept would hold true for trail wear – more wieght per unit area on a skinny tire than a fatter one! Curse you cyclocross riders!! 😼

  • #73830

    [url:28msqkxw]http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/29%22er[/url:28msqkxw]

    I searched 29" mountain bike wheel debate and came up with alot,this is the wikipedia version and they say the 29er wheel’s are better in the sand.While that is hard to argue with,they also say that 29er wheel’s make it easier to roll over stuff and that is where I have a problem with 29er’s.I DONT want to just roll over stuff easier,I think that is because most of you 29er’s think in term’s of xc where as I think of in term’s of trail riding,all mountain,xc,and a little down hill with the bike the I have which is stumpjumper eite with the fox Talas fork with travel adjustment that can be ridden in xc mode,trail mode,or down hill mode.
    I read the "Drawback’s to 29er portion"and agreed with it all.In the advantages section they say the 29er wheel has more traction but at the same time in the drawback section they say the bigger wheel make’s for a weaker wheel and I couldnt agree more and can back up that belief from my bmx experience converting into my mountain biking experience.I dont have time right now to get into it because we are heading up to winter park here in Denver Colorado to go riding for the day. LATE

  • #73831

    Ok, I have stayed out for too long. Now this is my opinion so feel free to disagree.

    I have seen the advancement of Bikes over the years and I see one steady progression. Laziness!!! Back in the day of original MTN Bikes, there was no such thing as a suspension bike. Just a Rigid frame and fork. Then came suspension forks. Why? To make the train easier to ride. Then came full suspension bikes. Again, to make the trail easier to ride. And now the 29â€

  • #73832

    [quote="mikebn"]Ok, I have stayed out for too long. Now this is my opinion so feel free to disagree.

    I have seen the advancement of Bikes over the years and I see one steady progression. Laziness!!! Back in the day of original MTN Bikes, there was no such thing as a suspension bike. Just a Rigid frame and fork. Then came suspension forks. Why? To make the train easier to ride. Then came full suspension bikes. Again, to make the trail easier to ride. And now the 29â€

  • #73833
    Sounds like you’re saying that if you ride a technologically advanced bike that you have no skills – its all in the bike.

    Funny thing is that once I upgraded to a full-suspension bike I was able to conquer tougher terrain and push myslef to new limits. I feel I am a much more skilled rider because of that not in spite of it.

    Im not saying that people with the full suspension/29er bikes have no skills. You did make my point however. Im going to make a couple of assumptions.

    1) You did ride a hardtail before you upgraded
    2) You rode the same trail you did with the Full suspension bike as you did with your hardtail.
    3) You could do more on that trail with the Full suspension bike than the hardtail.

    Given those 3 assumptions. What was the factor that changed that made you excel now? Same rider….. Same trail…….. NEW BIKE!!!! Was it really you or did the bike make you more confident? Did your skills get better or did the New Bike take alot of the trail away and made it easier on you?

    Don’t get me wrong. I don’t mean to be bitter toward anyone. I just like to feel the trail. To be more like the MTB pioneers, As mentioned in several posts before me. If you feel good on your new bike, then all the power to you.

  • #73834
    Sounds like you’re saying that if you ride a technologically advanced bike that you have no skills – its all in the bike.

    Funny thing is that once I upgraded to a full-suspension bike I was able to conquer tougher terrain and push myslef to new limits. I feel I am a much more skilled rider because of that not in spite of it

    Dont you feel like you gave up on the other bike before you upgraded to the full suspension??Did you really get to a level where you were just as good on the other bike so that when you moved over to the full suspension your skill and experience would have been 10 fold better??
    I think the point here is that rider’s are skipping out on the basic’s and not fullfilling the whole disipline of riding before they go out and buy those exotic bike’s.It’s like there going to karate but dont earn the lower belts before earning the black belt.
    This is what bug’s me because the bike company’s(bless there souls)are just selling the crap out of all this technology but arent selling the whole Idea of the riding experience.I feel like this because I rode some bmx as a kid and know what it is like to ride ridged and it is a good,good thing to know as a disipline and a training tool and is why I keep a hard tail around and ahve turned that hard tail into a ridged because I have become convinced that ridged is the foundation to a higher level of riding skill and experience to make those black belt’s of technological advancement’s of full supspension bike’s all that much funner as a more complete experience of riding disipline and experience.
    Ooop’s,got to go to work now.think about it thogh and talk to some underground people in the bike world instead of magazines’ and salesman that only deal with what’s going with what all the new people to the bike world are doing.Hope this help’s.

  • #73835

    BFDBunny Hop

    So…Gary Fisher and Joe Breeze are traitors to "true mountain biking" because they continually upgraded and modified their roadies until they could handle the terrain better?
    C’mon. Cycling’s backbone is wrapped in innovation and straightened by fresh ideas.

    Think about this, one of the founders of mountain biking happens to be one of the proudest proponents of 29er’s in the history of the sport.

    Besides, if the history of mountain biking has taught us anything, it’s taught us that the trail will continually get easier and easier to ride because innovators will continually figure out ways to make us faster and more efficient at handling the given terrain.

  • #73836
    "steve32300" wrote

    I feel like this because I rode some bmx as a kid and know what it is like to ride ridged and it is a good,good thing to know as a disipline and a training tool and is why I keep a hard tail around and ahve turned that hard tail into a ridged because I have become convinced that ridged is the foundation to a higher level of riding skill and experience to make those black belt’s of technological advancement’s of full supspension bike’s all that much funner as a more complete experience of riding disipline and experience.

    Wow what a run-on sentence! In addition, the use of "funner" is hilarious. 😆

  • #73837
    "flamdrag8" wrote

    [quote="steve32300":2ss8961r]I feel like this because I rode some bmx as a kid and know what it is like to ride ridged and it is a good,good thing to know as a disipline and a training tool and is why I keep a hard tail around and ahve turned that hard tail into a ridged because I have become convinced that ridged is the foundation to a higher level of riding skill and experience to make those black belt’s of technological advancement’s of full supspension bike’s all that much funner as a more complete experience of riding disipline and experience.

    Wow what a run-on sentence! In addition, the use of "funner" is hilarious. 😆[/quote:2ss8961r]

    Funny english teacher. You’re good.

  • #73838

    I have been guilty of observing this post from a far without commenting, but I felt the need to comment today. I think some may be forgetting the most basic fundamental reason why we all mountain bike…too have FUN!!. I am never going to be a super skilled trials-esque rider nor am I going to win the Leadville 100. I ride to have fun. I rode a hardtail for 4 years, now I ride a FS. Riding my full suspension rig is 100x more fun then riding my old hardtail. I can ride tougher sections, I can climb better, I can ride harder, I can ride faster, I can ride longer. The same effort on my part yields superior results, ie longer, faster, more fun rides. Sure, my skills are not going to be on par with the rigid single speeder who rides the same trails as I do, but I’ve come to the conclusion that I’m more into fun than into pain.

    As far as the 29er debate, I’ve never actually ridden a 29er so I am in no place to comment. If you test one out and it feels good, do it.

  • #73839
    "erictw83" wrote

    I have been guilty of observing this post from a far without commenting, but I felt the need to comment today. I think some may be forgetting the most basic fundamental reason why we all mountain bike…too have FUN!!. I am never going to be a super skilled trials-esque rider nor am I going to win the Leadville 100. I ride to have fun. I rode a hardtail for 4 years, now I ride a FS. Riding my full suspension rig is 100x more fun then riding my old hardtail. I can ride tougher sections, I can climb better, I can ride harder, I can ride faster, I can ride longer. The same effort on my part yields superior results, ie longer, faster, more fun rides. Sure, my skills are not going to be on par with the rigid single speeder who rides the same trails as I do, but I’ve come to the conclusion that I’m more into fun than into pain.

    As far as the 29er debate, I’ve never actually ridden a 29er so I am in no place to comment. If you test one out and it feels good, do it.

    HERE, HERE!!!

  • #73840

    ericTW is spot on. who are some of you kidding here? unless you’re about to be sponsored by Fox or Specialized or whoever, lighten up! when i see a 18" log on the trail, i go over it on my FS 26" HiFi Plus (though I admit i’m coveting the 29" hi fi deluxe on sale at our local shop). i could probably do it on a hard tail but why the heck would i? this is like saying that tennis players of today aren’t purists b/c they’re not using the old t2000 of jimmy connors. doing everything better and faster makes one a happier mountain biker, and if technology helps that, then buy all the technology you can afford. no matter how good i got on a hard tail or a 29er, i am sure that i will always find stuff to challenge me almost every time i go out there. if it became way too easy, i could understand the concern. but i can’t see that ever being an issue, so give me a smoother ride where i can go faster, climb better and tackle tougher stuff any day.

  • #73841
    "BFD" wrote

    So…Gary Fisher and Joe Breeze are traitors to "true mountain biking" because they continually upgraded and modified their roadies until they could handle the terrain better?
    C’mon. Cycling’s backbone is wrapped in innovation and straightened by fresh ideas.
    Think about this, one of the founders of mountain biking happens to be one of the proudest proponents of 29er’s in the history of the sport.
    Besides, if the history of mountain biking has taught us anything, it’s taught us that the trail will continually get easier and easier to ride because innovators will continually figure out ways to make us faster and more efficient at handling the given terrain.

    Gary Fisher and Joe Breeze are true pioneers in the MTB industry that’s for sure. They did pretty much start and continue to be the leaders of innovation. However, we can’t forget that they learned to walk before they could run. They started on those rigid bikes. They learned the trail and applied their skills to make riding EASIER for the rest of us. Traitors….. Not a chance! True Mtn bikers….. Damn Straight!

    Listen to the man…. [url:tzscydva]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=km67fjE8DqE[/url:tzscydva]

    Today’s innovations and technology are allowing people to run before they can even walk. Where is the foundation of skills when all you do is bomb down a hill running everything over? FS and 29er bikes are on the bleeding edge of the sport, that’s for sure. But that’s not all that MTN biking is about. Try stopping by the side of the trail and enjoy the scenery. Check out some wild life. And if you are fortunate enough to be in CO, Enjoy the awesome views of the Mountains. Don’t just hop on your FS/29er bikes and blow the world away. Stop running it over!!!

  • #73842
    "mikebn" wrote

    Im not saying that people with the full suspension/29er bikes have no skills. You did make my point however. Im going to make a couple of assumptions.

    1) You did ride a hardtail before you upgraded
    2) You rode the same trail you did with the Full suspension bike as you did with your hardtail.
    3) You could do more on that trail with the Full suspension bike than the hardtail.

    Given those 3 assumptions. What was the factor that changed that made you excel now? Same rider….. Same trail…….. NEW BIKE!!!! Was it really you or did the bike make you more confident? Did your skills get better or did the New Bike take alot of the trail away and made it easier on you?

    OK – fair enough.
    1 – Yes, I did ride hardtail (In fact, fully rigid to start).
    2 – Yes again.
    3 – 3 for 3 on the yesses

    What made it better, a combination of learning the trail, learning the bike, learning how to ride the bike better, and then upgrading to a bike that could do more with a RIDER that could do more than before. I won’t deny that the bike helped but my skills also progressed.

    Dont you feel like you gave up on the other bike before you upgraded to the full suspension??Did you really get to a level where you were just as good on the other bike so that when you moved over to the full suspension your skill and experience would have been 10 fold better??

    Steve-O….gave up on my hardtail?!?!? No, I still use it at the trials park and sometimes as a commuter. No, I didn’t give up on it, technology passed it by. True reason I upgraded – It is a 6speed cassette and it was getting harder to find good quality parts to keep it trail worthy AND I had upgraded (that nasty word again 😃 ) to v-brakes but felt with my 225lbs on the slopes we get here in "Hilly" Colorado that I could use the extra stopping power from disc brakes.

    I don’t do any trails now that I couldn’t before – just better and faster and to me that equals funner (Sorry bud couldnt resist that one!)

    All this talk about being "purists" is pure bullsh@#t. Dont talk about a hard tail with front suspension and 6-7 speed cassettes and "bar-ends", etc being a purists bike. When you think long and hard about it, isn’t mountain biking a technological sidekick of road biking?? (I’ll bet I feel the ire for this comment!!) But the "pioneers" took regular old road bikes and UPGRADED them so they could go out and have more FUN.

  • #73843
    "Beaker" wrote

    OK – fair enough.
    1 – Yes, I did ride hardtail (In fact, fully rigid to start).
    2 – Yes again.
    3 – 3 for 3 on the yesses

    What made it better, a combination of learning the trail, learning the bike, learning how to ride the bike better, and then upgrading to a bike that could do more with a RIDER that could do more than before. I won’t deny that the bike helped but my skills also progressed.

    Awsome, Keep on riding. Enjoy the new ride!!

    I don’t do any trails now that I couldn’t before – just better and faster and to me that equals funner (Sorry bud couldnt resist that one!)

    That is part of the innovation/advancement of MTN Biking. Making the ride easier, and of course, More FUN!!!!! Don’t stop having fun. Ride the bike you have and enjoy!!

  • #73844
    This is what bug’s me because the bike company’s(bless there souls)are just selling the crap out of all this technology but arent selling the whole Idea of the riding experience.

    It’s not Fisher and the boy’s I’m picking on here,it’s the situation of all the people spending money on lighter or race type stuff only a racer need’s to have on there bike.
    Let me let you in on an example of what I mean,and give me your best and comprehensible answer if you will.
    I am a clydesdale rider at 280 plbs. as you might know.I bought a 2007 stumpjumper last year with a stock rear hub pawl body that kept braking on me.I knew that when if I broke the highest upgraded stock pawl body that I was going to have to upgrade to a ratchet style rear drive hub in order to keep the drive hub from braking and being continually replaced.The first hub that I was introduced to was a chris king hub with the stainless steel inner’s and stainless steel drive hub.$435 just for the hub,then I needed to lace up new spoke’s,rim,and brass nipple’s and a little labor to buil it up.At this point the whole deal was up to about $700 for just one rear wheel.At the rate I was breaking the pawl body’s,this was really seeming like the right answer for my problem at my weight.
    One day we were at the trail head getting ready to ride when two teenage girls showed up with there bike’s and were riding around the parking lot checking there bike’s out to get ready for there ride.I noticed the chris king hub’s and wondered how much they really needed all that hub for there 110 plb weight limit they would impose ont those bike’s.Not a huge deal,if you got it,spend it I alway’s say.The more I thought about it though,the more I just could’nt beleive the absolute over spending that is going on these day’s.I thought about it and said to myself,I dont want to just spend money just because eveyone else is(no offense to fisher and the boy’s and innovation).I shopped around and decided on a DT Swiss wheel that was almost $400 cheaper than the chris king hub and wheel.I have been putting the DT through it pace’s and it is holding up to my 280 plbs. even on the day I wrenched my way up the first set of stair’s at dakota ridge.So tell me what is going here,are people more interested just being around moutain biking because it’s expensive or are people really out there getting off on riding the trail’s???

  • #73845

    I ride with 2 guys that are completely polar opposites. (But both named Dan!)

    Dan 1 – Rides a New Santa Cruz Blur LT with XTR everything, except the brakes are something else (better, lighter, more expensive). Front and rear shocks both re-done by Push Industries. I think this is his 8th bike in 8 years or so. Gone thru SC Nomad, Intense, Turner 5 spot, etc.

    Dan 2 – Rides a $700 "Stcok" Mongoose from Performance (and has subsequently put in another couple hundred bucks for repairs). First full suspension bike after riding a hardtail Surly (bought used).

    Both are extremely good, powerful riders that ride about the same speed and technical ability. So who’s wrong?? Dan 1 can afford the latest greatest technology so he gets it – Dan 2 can’t so he doesn’t. Both love to ride and have fun doing it. I don’t see any problem with either scenario.

    If I could afford one, I’d buy a Mercedes – does that make me worse or better than someone who drives a Ford??

  • #73846
    "steve32300" wrote
    .So tell me what is going here,are people more interested just being around moutain biking because it’s expensive or are people really out there getting off on riding the trail’s???

    Honestly I think this syndrome you describe is not isolated to mountain biking whatsoever, but rather runs much deeper. American "cultural" has evolved such that materialism and excess are common practices in virtually all aspects of life. Do any of us (non-racers) need the latest greatest full suspension systems, XTR parts, and $1000 front forks? NO, but we convince ourselves we do because quality parts definitely translate into better performance, durability, etc. Likewise, do any of us need an Audi A8 Sport Wagon or a BMW. NO, but I’m sure they are a hell of lot more fun to drive then my toyota. Do any of us need ipods, iphones, and blackberrys? NO, but they sure are more convenient than a 1980’s Sony walkman and pay phones. I could go on and on. I guess my point is that over buying is not isolated to mountain biking but rather is prevalent EVERYWHERE in our culture. People like to spend their hard earned money on nice things that they may not absolutely honest to god [i:28y5l28o]need[/i:28y5l28o], but they may absolutely honest to god [i:28y5l28o]want[/i:28y5l28o]. It is what it is. Honestly, I can’t fault people for buying big because, if you have the money….why not?

  • #73847

    BFDBunny Hop

    I’m in it to ride. Period. What ever makes it more fun is what I want.

  • #73848

    SINGLETRACKS, VOTE HERE NOW!!!!

    The 29er debate is heating back up; and as the author of this discussion, I am asking for everyone to put your vote in now for the 29er. We have only 8 votes currently. Now we need hundreds for a good idea of how people really feel about the big wheels in this day and age. Look to the top of the screen to VOTE NOW!!! 😃 😃

  • #73849

    I’ve ridden both. Prefer 26" for my type of riding and the majority of the trails we have here in GA. Still I voted FOR the 29er b/c it has its place in the biking world and fits a need/desire. Needs and desires are the two very reasons we have innovation in the bike world in the first place. Its why we now have FS and HT bikes over the old rigids and why we now have bikes that cater to DH riders and others that cater to XC riders.

  • #73850

    I vote 26 stricktly for the way I ride if your xc race or rolling xc rider 29ers arent a bad choice…depends on what you ride and where though.

  • #73851

    I voted for 26 inch wheels, because thats what I ride and I don’t foresee myself switching to a 29er anytime in the near future. However, I agree with Jeremey, 29ers do have their place in mountain biking world.

  • #73852

    I’m all in for 26" wheels. I need the strength for my riding style/weight combination.

    Other than that, everyone should ride whatever makes their riding experience the most FUN.

  • #73853

    Love the 29er bike already but hate the tires and am looking for some great 29er heavy duty tires. I ordered a pair of Kenda Tomac Nevegal but was hoping to get a bit of you guys’ insight on good riding tires. Also, you guys prefer the same tires front and back or do you customize that part of the bike?

    Cheers
    Dave

  • #73854

    I’m a fan of the same tires front and rear. Makes replacing things easy, one style to remember, and you only need one tube size as well. I got my 29er in march and a LOVING it.

    Having made my comment about tires, let me add than I’ve changed out the tires that came with the bike. WTB Exiwolf were the stock tire. The are a great choice for heavy off road use, but most of what I ride is not serious single track and the bike also sees a fair amount of road and hardpack usage. I replaced the Exiwolf tires with a set of WTB Vulpine tires. If I know I’m going to be doing a longer off road ride, I’ll put the Exiwolf tires back on

    We all ride differently, so your choices may vary from mine. The Vulpines are more to my liking <b><i>for my style of riding</i></b>. When the Vulpines need replacing, I may opt for Nanoraptors. They have a bit more off road tread, but still look very road friendly.

  • #73855

    VOTE HERE NOW!!!! 29inch wheels are where it’s at! 😎

  • #73856
    I just hate all this hype foggin up the real deal idea of just ridin

    Well,there has’nt been a post on here in two weeks.Where’s the heat to this debate???hahahahaah.I gotta admit,when I read some comment’s on me blowing smoke or generally just being the hater here on this debate,I laughed my ass off because I never could figure out why we were debating the 29er wheel in the first place.I mean,it’s all written on the wall as to what and where the line is drawn in the sand on this thing anyway’s.It’s an awfully deep subject that just go’es on and on and on and on.If you go to the gary fisher web site and click on the bike finder,all you gotta do is keep clicking on your preferances and it’ll lead you right to the bike or bike’s for you to choose from.You dont even have to know anything to be able to get what you need or want to ride a mountain bike.And when I went through the bike finder you’ll never guess what happened,very curtious this gary fisher bike finder,I gotta tell ya,it directed me(steve32300,non 29er conformist)right past the 29er’s and right into the 26" gravy train.
    Seem’s to me that even gary fisher know’s that the debate is such a long winded topic that a consumer of gary fisher product’s shouldnt be faced to wrestle with this thought,and so came up with this bike finder so as to not get customer’s involved with such a thing by drawing a very distinct line as to what a 29er bike should be used for.
    So,where’s the debate???I do think that(and I’ve said this before)the 29er fit’s right into the mountain bike lifestyle because there are many way’s and uses for mountain bike’s.The 29er’s may be only good for keeping the wheel’s on the ground like your grandparent’s would have a use for,but one cannot argue that the 29er does offer a very comfortable ride over rough terrain.(just my little dig here,t.m.)hahahaha.
    So,in hind sight there are basically two camps here,the one’s that will use a 29er and one’s that wont use a 29er.There deffinatly seem’s to be a seperation here of the two because there are two world’s that seperate them.Those two world’s???road bike’s and bmx bike’s,I think the road bike minded rider’s end up on 29er’s and the bmx minded rider’s end up on 26" wheel’s.No debate IMHO.
    I am thinking the only debate here came to be just because of gary himself debating wether or not to start selling 29er’s on the market and wether or not how well they would do fiscally and reputaionally.(is that a word?reputationally??anyway’s it mean’s reputation) 😮 😮
    When this debate showed up the forum’s,I was like SWEET,somthing we could really get into,especially in the winter month’s when learning will reap more than riding.So,I let er hang out and shot from the hip because it is such a deep subject especially if us lamen’s want to make a dent on it that it could keep the forum’s going with at least a lot of character and color.So I’ll keep playing the hater just because,and all you 29er’s can be the lover’s just because,just dont step on my feet with those big ass shoe’s.hahahahahaaha.
    But seriously,mountain bike’s are exceptionally diverse and offer somthing for everyone from one end of the spectrum to the other in an endless supply of variation’s and I would’nt take any of that away from anyone because were all just one big happy family where our differences help to keep us all well rounded,active,aware,and interested in what we love to do,RIDE.
    Well,that’s that part of it.what about the future??Are 29er’s gonna get such a following that everyone learn’s how to ride a 29er just like a 26er of today.I mean,I seen a video on you tube of some dude bragging about how he bunny hopped 19 inches on a 29er.What’s the big deal here,I’ve said it and I’ve seen several other’s state that anything can be ridden to any extent,it’s all in the rider.Can an old lady bunny hop 19 inche’s??more than likly not,but a dude in his 20’s with a little hard work and practice sure the hell could.Where’s the debate???
    I guess you CAN say there is a debate because some dude is bragging about bunny hopping 19 inche’s high on a 29er.But is there really any more difference between the 26er and the 29er other than one is bigger than the other??I think the more people that ride 29er’s the more the debate will be debatable in the near future and that’s why I let er hang out there and get involved no matter what because the future bring’s the debate to our doorstep.
    Just remember,this is a very deep subject and I’m just letting it hang out there to try and get everything I can out of it because even though I dont want a 29er,I do want to be a part of the debate I beleive will be around for the future for everyone to have a healthy and freindly time with.

  • #73857

    I recently purchased a GF Paragon September of 2008. I t was a demo model, so I got a really good deal on it. I went with the 29er becasue as a chick my biggest weakness is upper body strength to get over obstacles. I know plenty of women who do not have this problem, but anatomically we are at a disadvantage in the upper body strength department. I’m built like a woman, I have curves; I’m not one of the tall lean girls. With my 29er I can ride trails that I couldn’t before. Yes, cornering is more difficult, but it’s not impossible. I don’t ride competitivly, but I do like to go fast downhill on twisty trails, and that took some adjusting. I ride horses too, and my 29er reminds me of barrel racing a draft horse. Maybe I don’t mind the bigger wheels because I learned to mtn bike on my Dad’s Raleigh, a bike with a frame for a 6’3" man. I could whip that bike around any corner. I think more women should give 29ers a go.

    Also, the whole discussion about buying a better/ more expensive bike than you need, my response to that is who cares. Yeah, most people ride bikes that are way nicer than they will ever need (and this goes for road and mtn). And yes, most people really don’t need full suspension (personally I’m hardtail til I die). The way I look at it though, there are much worse things to spend money on. I would rather see people buy some badass bike that will get them off the couch than someone buying the latest and greatest big TV or designer jeans. Yeah, people with more money than talent make me jealous sometimes. But hey, maybe they’ll hate cycling and I can pick up that bike for a fraction of the cost.

  • #73858

    I went 29’er after research, checking them out and needing a 23-24 inch frame. I went with SPECIALIZED because they could fit me and ended up with more bike than I planned because of availability.

    I love the Rockhopper Expert Disc 29’er that I bought. Will I go 26….nah!

  • #73859
    "marcaudet" wrote

    I went 29’er after research, checking them out and needing a 23-24 inch frame. I went with SPECIALIZED because they could fit me and ended up with more bike than I planned because of availability.

    I love the Rockhopper Expert Disc 29’er that I bought. Will I go 26….nah!

    A 24" frame? Good God man, you must be upwards of 6’6"! I’m guessing those 29" wheels don’t even look oversized on a frame that large. 😉 😉 At that size you could use my 19.5" frame and 26" wheels as a BMX bike. 😆

    Seriously though, that’s a sweet ride and it’s pretty cool that you were able to get the top of the line model as well. Have fun riding that beast.

  • #73860

    Yes, I am 6-6, and I went with 23 inch frame.

  • #73861
    "B.cereus" wrote

    And yes, most people really don’t need full suspension (personally I’m hardtail til I die).

    I’m guessing that if you rode trails like we have out here all day/every day then you might change your mind…..eventually. 😆

  • #73862

    Well, it has been a little more than a year since I started this post, and 29ers are the hands down favorite among singletracks riders (according to the poll). I believe that the inherent value and benefits of a 29er speak for themselves, but it is great to see that so many others feel the same way. A riding buddy of mine has done the math, with a 29er vs. a 26er; the 29er has a "long legs" advantage of 18 inches. That means, that when I’m in gear 2,5, and he’s in gear 2,5, I’m going 18 inches farther under the same gear ratio. That is probably why the 29er is yet to be on the olympic stage. There is just too much of an advantage. Not to mention all of the other great rolling benefits. Thanks to everyone who has contributed their thoughts and opinions on the subject. 😃

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