As the 29er movement starts to take hold bike manufacturers are starting to realize that every part of the bike needs to be re-engineered to meet the challenges posed by larger wheels. The obvious kinks have been worked out (like needing taller wheel clearances on forks and rear triangles) but there’s still a long way to go. Easton recognized the need for wider handlebars to maneuver 29-inch wheels and recently introduced the EA 70 Wide based on the popular original EA 70 design.
Based on folks we’ve spoken with at the show this year it sounds like the 29er is really gaining traction in the MTB market. At WTB the rep estimated as much as 25-30% of their tire sales were 29ers; Mavic says they’re having a hard time keeping up with demand for 29er wheel sets. In the coming year I predict we’ll see even more MTB components tweaked to work with the beefier 29er geometry – stay tuned here for the latest!