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Big Wheel Talk
7/27/2010 4:36:40 PM

BennieBiker
BennieBiker
Posts: 26
Hey all!
I'm currently running on the standard 26" bike, but hope to upgrade possibly very soon, and was wondering if anyone has rode both a 29er and a 26er, and what the general opinion on them was.

29" makes sense in all ways but one to me, and that is that it would raise your center of gravity, making downhill a bit harder.

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Hardtail Junkie
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7/30/2010 1:59:45 PM

fitztek
fitztek
Posts: 12
It's not so much that a higher center of gravity is going to make downhill riding more difficult, it's that 29ers typically have to have a steeper headtube angle in order to maintain a shorter wheelbase. That means that your body weight will be a little more over the front of your front wheel than it would be with a typical 26er. This will make it more likely to go over the handlebars in some situations.
They are now making some downhill bikes with 29er wheels and I've heard some great things about them, but they have very long wheelbases.

In my experience, I don't really like 29ers on singletrack with tight turns because that steep head angle makes wheel tracking on turns more difficult. I've also found it more difficult to lift the front wheel up over larger obstacles. However, I've really liked 29ers for fast rolling terrain and bumpy terrain that the large wheels can roll over more easily

I think it really comes down to your riding style and the type of places that you ride most.
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8/9/2010 8:27:43 PM

drc
drc
Posts: 1
It depends a lot on your height as well. For taller guys (disclaimer: I'm 6'6"), the 29ers don't raise your center of gravity so much as they move the COG closer to the center of rotation of the wheels, which actually makes it easier to make tight turns. An XL 26er has a long wheel base already, so the way I look at it, the 29" wheels just make things more proportional and make the bike behave more like a "normal"-sized bike behaves for a "normal"-sized person.

Disclaimer: I don't actually own a 29'er yet. I've just ridden ones belonging to other people, but I was able to climb stuff with those bikes that I could barely even approach with my 26er. Really wish I had the money to upgrade.
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8/29/2010 7:46:00 PM

KB
KB
Posts: 1
I've ridden and still own both but the 26er is covered in cob webs. I'm 6'2" and 195 and i've not ridden a 26 that compares with my 29 - Speciallized FSR Stumpjumper '08 frame withe xtr set up. I would love to try the Santa Cruz tallboy, but have not had a chance.
The COG concern is really not an issue. The bike has very little to do with the COG if BB heights are similar. That is simply because the rider always far out weighs the bike and therefore dictates and to some extent controls (read move your body around) the COG. Physics also tells you that for taller riders, the steeper head tube angle has little impact on the ability to take tighter corners. First of all, for taller riders on a 29er, the seat tube is considerably longer and your weight well behind the front fork. Wheel base is the more important factor for switchbacks and tight turns and if you are tall riding a bike that fits, it does not make much difference whether it is 29 or 26.
My take is that if you are a tall rider go 29 and never look back. Shorter riders have the choice and geometry may make a difference for them. My 29er climbs far better than my 26 and riding around Telluride, that is an important factor for me.
edited by KB on 8/29/2010
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9/2/2010 8:40:32 PM

tddrmrz
tddrmrz
Posts: 4
I'm all in favor with much of it being about height. I"m 5'9" and I just don't quite feel all that comfy on the 29s I've ridden. I would think this starts to change for those 6'0" and up, and make sense that it just fits bigger people better all around.

A guy I know that is 6'7" just bought a 23" 2011 Stumpjumper FSR Comp 29er. Now that just makes sense for a guy that big.
edited by tddrmrz on 9/2/2010
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12/19/2010 5:38:58 PM

candochief
candochief
Posts: 1
I bought a Carbon HT 29er about 4 months ago. I cleaned out the rest of my stable and ride it religiously. I got rid of my 26ers (Epic and SJ FSR) because they were just too much work to ride compared!

We can talk about center of gravity, bottom bracket hieght and all the other stuff magazines will tell you or........... You can got to your local "reputable" shop and grab a 29er test bike! take it out with an open mind and enjoy!

I will never got back to a 26er platform. Im not a downhill or a free ride guy by any meens. You cant beat a 29er on a climb or on the flats...... XC incorporates all that......
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10/23/2011 9:14:18 AM

TrojansBiker
TrojansBiker
Posts: 2
Buy a Specialized Stunpjumper 29 or Santa Cruz tallboy. Both phenomenal bikes. My stumpy (tubeless) wieghs in at just under 25 pounds! This sucker is stock and light!
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1/4/2012 5:51:40 AM

randall in nc
randall in nc
Posts: 1
I am a big fan of 29er hardtails and ride a Niner Air9 most of the time. If I am riding a loop with as much climbing as descending, I am faster on my 29er hardtail. But when I want to have fun on the more techicnal trails I prefer to ride my 26er Yeti full suspension bike. The 26" wheeled bikes seem to be easier to jump and to flick around the turns to me. If you choose to test ride a 29er hardtail, make sure it is setup as tubeless. The tubeless tires allows lower PSI which makes a better ride and bite with less agressive tires...IMHO
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9/5/2012 4:35:28 PM

qdog
qdog
Posts: 1
Im 5'5" riding a small 2011 specialized enduro now and was wondering about a 29 er. I think i may be to short to benefit from a 29er. any suggestions?
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