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Old 24.09.2010, 10:12
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Any 29ers here? [Mountain Bikes]

Trying to understand where the hype ends and reality sets in.
I'm currently riding a 26" titanium hardtail MTB. Nice little piece of metal, but I am having the feeling that alpine trails and tracks are just too much for it.
I've read great things about the 29"wheels ability to roll over rough stuff, stones, roots, etc and cold be interested in purchasing a 29" full suspended (Specy FSR SJ).

Anyway - for those who have ridden (or currently ride) the bigger wheels - is this format comaptible with alpine terrain...?

Ciao, thanks

Paul
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Old 24.09.2010, 10:24
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Re: Any 29ers here?

A 26" full suspension would be fine... they're used world-wide for all types of trails. Plus, better handling and better climbing speeds.

Advantages and disadvantages of 29'ers are here http://www.mountain-bike-buzz.com/29...ain-bikes.html
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Old 24.09.2010, 10:28
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Re: Any 29ers here?

I think the difference between 26" and 29" is marginal, like whether you use normal or gold cables in your stereo.

My next bike will be a 29" though, reason being that (for a tall bloke like me) a 24" frame with 26" wheels kind of looks wrong, the wheels look too small.

BTW, 29" tires for mountainbikes are the same as 28" tires for normal bikes
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Old 24.09.2010, 11:02
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Re: Any 29ers here?

I was under the assumption that most of the advantages ar if you at tall ...

to me, it is just hype and a fashion thing - I can't really see that rolling resistance has every been an issue on the paths I use.

With a 29er roll over roots easier - well maybe, the circumference will be a little different, and the angle of attack less. But this would also be the case depending on the stroke of suspension travel TBH.

Personally , I would think the choice of tyres is more important. But if you are above 1.90m I can see it make sense

If I had a titanium hard tail, I wouldn't be bothering ... though if it is old school short travel front end you may find a longer travel all mountain bike now suits your needs better
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Old 24.09.2010, 11:23
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Re: Any 29ers here?

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If I had a titanium hard tail, I wouldn't be bothering ... though if it is old school short travel front end you may find a longer travel all mountain bike now suits your needs better
Heh - try riding that beaut's over loose stones or on rockier trails.
Intially I was thinking about a 26" fully, but a friend who used to ride competitively (26" MTB XC) told me that the bigger wheels are "just another planet" in terms of ride smoothness.

My hardtail is bouncing all over, despite the 100mm fork (SID Race) which gobbles up a lot of the nasties.
End result is that I'm forced to creep down the trail, especially where I'm riding the trail for the first time, trying to avoid as much of the bigger stones/rocks.

Thx

Paul
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Old 24.09.2010, 11:26
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Re: Any 29ers here?

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A 26" full suspension would be fine... they're used world-wide for all types of trails. Plus, better handling and better climbing speeds.

Advantages and disadvantages of 29'ers are here http://www.mountain-bike-buzz.com/29...ain-bikes.html
Weel, that article didn't really do much to invalidate the 29" MTBs... ;-)
Yes, less parts available (but I am not a gear pimp)
Yes the wheels are more flexible (but I don't ride them very hard anyway)
Yes there are handling issues at slow speeds - and there I will need to improve my bike handling skills.

Thx for the link, anyway!

Paul
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Old 24.09.2010, 14:36
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Re: Any 29ers here? [Mountain Bikes]

Depends on riding. In my opinion 29ers are best suited to XC routes in the woods where the extra moment of intertia (and size) in the wheels helps them roll over obstacles. In the mountains its a different kettle of fish, your ability to accelerate or decelerate the wheel itself has as much to do with the ability to roll over things, also the bikes geometry plays a huge roll. There are a large number of bikes that have been designed with alpine style riding on the market today and I would choose them any day over a 29er for the kind of riding I do (which is mainly in the mountains).

Having said that skill makes a huge difference. I was following somebody on a trail a few weeks back, he was on a Ti XC hardtail with 100mm forks, I was on a 180mm travel (front and back) AM/Freeride bike and I had trouble keeping up with him even though the trail was certainly more suited to my bike then his.

Jekyll's Canyon Torque Alpinist is probably the nicest AM alpine bike I have seen in a long time, and in my opinion more suitable to the kind of stuff we have available here in CH then a 29er.
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Old 24.09.2010, 17:14
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Re: Any 29ers here? [Mountain Bikes]

Heh Eire... I detest you !
Just as I was getting almost ready to pull the trigger, there you go with the Torque Alpinist - which was another bike I was considering....

Damn. And it's not that one can test-ride these bikes that easily, so the wrong choice eventually could prove top be fatal (at least economically)...!

Thx

Paul
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Old 24.09.2010, 17:22
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Re: Any 29ers here? [Mountain Bikes]

Orange 5 ... you know it makes sense ....
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Old 24.09.2010, 17:29
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Re: Any 29ers here? [Mountain Bikes]

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Trying to understand where the hype ends and reality sets in.
I'm currently riding a 26" titanium hardtail MTB. Nice little piece of metal, but I am having the feeling that alpine trails and tracks are just too much for it.
I've read great things about the 29"wheels ability to roll over rough stuff, stones, roots, etc and cold be interested in purchasing a 29" full suspended (Specy FSR SJ).

Anyway - for those who have ridden (or currently ride) the bigger wheels - is this format comaptible with alpine terrain...?

Ciao, thanks

Paul
Hi Paul,
I ride a Gary Fisher 29'er. I chose it mainly because I'm tall and it felt more comfortable. To me, the biggest drawback is the handling going downhill. Sometimes I find it difficult to avoid trees. Tight turns are rough for me. I'm more of a roadie, so I'll admit my MTB skills are not the greatest. Other than that it really cruises nicely and climbs well.
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Old 24.09.2010, 17:33
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Re: Any 29ers here? [Mountain Bikes]

There is actually a test weekend in Lenzerheide this weekend where you can test all different types of bikes free of charge. Pity the weather is going to be rubbish, but on the plus side it will keep the crowds away and give you free reign to test anything you want!!!

What kind of trails are you talking about riding? I think you are in Ticino.... You talking about something like the Monte Arbostara loop near Lugano or the type of stuff from Monte Lema or more the Monte Tamaro kind of stuff? In my opinion the bigger "all mountain" bikes that could be considered Alpine bikes fit a niche for all day riding where its either up or down. They descend great, but are not actually that efficient when riding a very pedally XC type trail... But then you have an XC bike for those kind of days.
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Old 24.09.2010, 17:53
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Re: Any 29ers here? [Mountain Bikes]

I am from the East Coast of the U.S. The style of riding there is very suited for a 29'r. Rolling, technical terrain with lots of roots and rocks. Having ridden a 29'r there I have to say if/when I move back home I will be getting a 29'r. Here, I do alot of the same type of riding that Eire does. I have to agree that a 29'r would be ill suited for the terrain here. If you are just going to be riding fairly flat and technical XC trails go for it. But if you are taking it into a high alpine environment stick with the 26 fully.
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Old 24.09.2010, 20:08
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Re: Any 29ers here? [Mountain Bikes]

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There is actually a test weekend in Lenzerheide this weekend where you can test all different types of bikes free of charge. Pity the weather is going to be rubbish, but on the plus side it will keep the crowds away and give you free reign to test anything you want!!!

What kind of trails are you talking about riding? I think you are in Ticino.... You talking about something like the Monte Arbostara loop near Lugano or the type of stuff from Monte Lema or more the Monte Tamaro kind of stuff? In my opinion the bigger "all mountain" bikes that could be considered Alpine bikes fit a niche for all day riding where its either up or down. They descend great, but are not actually that efficient when riding a very pedally XC type trail... But then you have an XC bike for those kind of days.
Thanks for the heads up re. Lenzerhide.... it's a good 2 hrs from here. Let's see if I can make it on sunday. Would be cool!

As far as my riding environment - I'm a 50-up 50-down... you just have to deserve the downhill, if you know what I mean... sweat and blood
I'll be into longer day tours as my fitness condition keeps on improving, and the longer you pedal offroad, the higher the chance of encountering the more technical and challenging terrains. I have some excellent examples just outside Mendrisio - it's all goldilocks and then all of a sudden - Bam! it's rocky, gnarly, steep, and 100mm travel just in the front doesn't cut it. To be quite honest, I realize that the Ti hardtail was an unwise purchase, and I'll most probably have to let her go ....

P.
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Old 24.09.2010, 20:25
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Re: Any 29ers here? [Mountain Bikes]

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Thanks for the heads up re. Lenzerhide.... it's a good 2 hrs from here. Let's see if I can make it on sunday. Would be cool!

As far as my riding environment - I'm a 50-up 50-down... you just have to deserve the downhill, if you know what I mean... sweat and blood
I'll be into longer day tours as my fitness condition keeps on improving, and the longer you pedal offroad, the higher the chance of encountering the more technical and challenging terrains. I have some excellent examples just outside Mendrisio - it's all goldilocks and then all of a sudden - Bam! it's rocky, gnarly, steep, and 100mm travel just in the front doesn't cut it. To be quite honest, I realize that the Ti hardtail was an unwise purchase, and I'll most probably have to let her go ....

P.
Now you're tempting me. When are we going?

I'll be taking a visit to Ticino pretty soon (maybe even on Sunday depending on weather) let me know if you want to join us.
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Old 24.09.2010, 20:42
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Re: Any 29ers here? [Mountain Bikes]

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Now you're tempting me. When are we going?

I'll be taking a visit to Ticino pretty soon (maybe even on Sunday depending on weather) let me know if you want to join us.
LOL - for me, no fully, no party :-D
This sunday weather is supposed to be "better" - whatever that means. Of course if you're looking for serious and repeatable gravity vert-action, you'll probably be heading to Tamaro or Nara (new DH track has just been opened), rather than Mendrisio...
Keep in touch!!!!

P.
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Old 24.09.2010, 21:12
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Re: Any 29ers here? [Mountain Bikes]

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LOL - for me, no fully, no party :-D
This sunday weather is supposed to be "better" - whatever that means. Of course if you're looking for serious and repeatable gravity vert-action, you'll probably be heading to Tamaro or Nara (new DH track has just been opened), rather than Mendrisio...
Keep in touch!!!!

P.
I'm not a DHer, I just like to ride endless singletrail. I do use lifts, but its purely to get more singletrail in a day rather then to just ride gravity assisted. If I go to Tamaro I'd rather go and ride the trail to Monte Lema then do the DH course all day.

Anyway I'm injured at the moment so if I go down there I can't really afford to crash. I'll be doing something pretty flowy like the Monte Arbostara loop or similar.
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Old 24.09.2010, 21:38
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Re: Any 29ers here? [Mountain Bikes]

We just build up our first 29'' Niner Carbon bike and the feedback from one of our test riders is very positive. But definitely more for marathon rides/races. Not really recommended for tricky cross country races. Also it's better fitting if the rider is at least 1.75m. In one of the last German MTB mags was a very interesting comparison of 26 vs 29. Key message: It always depends on the track!
Yes, 29'' whell size is same as 28'' but with the bigger mtb wheel you get a Niner.
As mentioned before riding ability is always key. With the trend of using more and more front/rear travel my opinion is that technical ability goes down. Good racers with 100mm front fork on a hardtail are almost faster the all "All-Mountain" bikers in a downhill. At least my experience.
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Old 25.09.2010, 11:05
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Re: Any 29ers here? [Mountain Bikes]

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... In the mountains its a different kettle of fish, your ability to accelerate or decelerate the wheel itself has as much to do with the ability to roll over things, also the bikes geometry plays a huge roll. ...
Put your bike in a repair stand. Grab a spoke with your little finger and see how much of a pull it takes to make it spin at 15 kph (as shown by your bike computer). With both 26" (ISO 559) or 29" (ISO 622) it is a pretty small amount of force, and the difference is not really noticeable. Now imagine the acceleration force is coming from something much more powerful - your legs, and the difference seems even more minute. The power needed to decelerate is identical to that for acceleration.

In addition, when contrasted with the power required to accelerate (or decelerate) the mass of the rider and the complete bike, that required to accelerate/decelerate the wheels is basically nothing. Even though the wheels involve rotational weight (whereas the rest is called static weight), it is still minimal in comparison and would not be detectable by any human in a blind test. I think the same thing when road cyclists talk about the fact that lighter wheels are "easier to spin up to speed" - give me a break, that's just what you were EXPECTING to feel, not what you actually felt.

I agree that taking some weight off the bike can subtly effect your power:weight ratio in a positive way when climbing. But I do not agree that a difference in the weight of your wheels (within reason) noticeably affects the speed at which you can accelerate/decelerate the entire mass of the rider and bike (including wheels). The spinning the wheel in a bike stand with your little finger test should demonstrate this point well enough to make it obvious to most people.
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Old 25.09.2010, 11:50
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Re: Any 29ers here? [Mountain Bikes]

With all due respect Chris this may be true for a road or a trekking bike, but with MTB's that are being used for Alpine use its a different kettle of fish. The tyres we are using weigh between 800g and 1.5kg and right out on the outside of the wheel. and the trails can sometimes be very blocked which require stopping to a trackstand pretty much on a dime and then trying to get momentum up again to clear an obstacle within less then a full rotation of the wheel possibly in a less then optimal gear.

In extreme cases some downhillers use 24" back wheels for these reasons.

Its like taking a light stick and saying swing that and then saying its a negligible difference to swing the same stick with a bag of sugar on the end. It just ain't so.

Try putting a 1kg tyre on your road bike and then a normal 150g road tyre and go ride up your local climb, I'm sure you'd notice the difference.

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Put your bike in a repair stand. Grab a spoke with your little finger and see how much of a pull it takes to make it spin at 15 kph (as shown by your bike computer). With both 26" (ISO 559) or 29" (ISO 622) it is a pretty small amount of force, and the difference is not really noticeable. Now imagine the acceleration force is coming from something much more powerful - your legs, and the difference seems even more minute. The power needed to decelerate is identical to that for acceleration.

In addition, when contrasted with the power required to accelerate (or decelerate) the mass of the rider and the complete bike, that required to accelerate/decelerate the wheels is basically nothing. Even though the wheels involve rotational weight (whereas the rest is called static weight), it is still minimal in comparison and would not be detectable by any human in a blind test. I think the same thing when road cyclists talk about the fact that lighter wheels are "easier to spin up to speed" - give me a break, that's just what you were EXPECTING to feel, not what you actually felt.

I agree that taking some weight off the bike can subtly effect your power:weight ratio in a positive way when climbing. But I do not agree that a difference in the weight of your wheels (within reason) noticeably affects the speed at which you can accelerate/decelerate the entire mass of the rider and bike (including wheels). The spinning the wheel in a bike stand with your little finger test should demonstrate this point well enough to make it obvious to most people.
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Old 26.09.2010, 18:03
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Re: Any 29ers here? [Mountain Bikes]

i have 2 29ers and a monster surly 'cross set up. i drank the cool-aid years ago and haven't looked back. up front--you may not need to get a full suspension 29inch to enjoy big wheels. nice but not needed like you would need them on a 26. spend that extra cash on a nice fox fork for up front.

those big wheels eat so much of the trail chatter that i prefer a 29er hardtail any day over a FS even if it was the same price. I'm also riding a Salsa El Mariachi full rigid single speed as my main steed so take my opinion for what it's worth. but a nice steel frame, good tires and a good fork up front will make it feel like you have a full suspension with all the pedaling efficiency. really!

You have to test ride these puppies to see if it's your cup of tea. For the most part, to me at least, if you're on really tight trails with a lot of technical turns, etc.--26er might make more sense. they're more nimble some would say, all things considered. while 29er may be a bit sluggish or slow in turning, i also feel that because of those wheels, you choose routes differently and ride differently to a certain degree. as for roots, rocks, etc... it's night and day the roll you get with big wheels. climbing, you may lose traction if you're up front the whole time, but downhills are brilliant on 29ers! i don't see the disadvantages in the setup, just focus on the pros of big wheels.

i personally wouldn't use the person's size argument for whether to go big wheels or not. i know people close to 7' tall who still like 26 wheels. I'm 5'8 and run big wheels without a problem. it's about the ride quality, not your size, although some would disagree i'm sure.

ultimately, the best bike is the one you have most fun on--whether it's a schwinn beater or a fancy carbon frame. try one out, you may just have the time of your life.
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