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(not a real racer)
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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I'm thinking about getting a singlespeed MTB to bash around on so I'm doing the online research thing now. What's the deal with the 29 inch wheels? It seems that all the manufactures want me to buy one. The drone at the LBS says "they're good for big guys like us!"
Anyone have one? Do you like it? What's not to like about it?
 

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Anti-Hero
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I'm in the process of building one. I don't ride small wheels on my road bike, so I see no reason to consider riding them on my MTB.

Oh yeah, and if you search the MTBR forum, there are a lot of threads about this.
 

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(not a real racer)
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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Thanks, Andrea. Good point about the wheel size in relation to the road bike.
 

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passive/aggressive
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i would check out the 29er forum at MTBR.

A basic synopsis is that the larger wheel has a longer contact patch than a comparable 26er tire. This give much better traction both in climbing/braking and in cornering. The larger tire also uses more volume of air allowing lower pressures without pinching, enhancing traction.

Finally for tall people the 29er gives a much better fit to your proportions placing you more in the bike than on top of a bike.

Negatives of course are that the larger wheels are heavier than comparable 26er tires and to a degree weaker for the same weight as the 26er. Due to the weight difference they are harder to spin but also are more stable (gyroscopic effect).

FWIW I ride salsa 29er | 5'10".
 

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The main reason for riding a 29 inch mountain bike is that they roll over things easier, and hence the rider does not get beet up as much by rough trails. The reason I like them is that I don't have to have a dual suspension mountain bike with a 29 inch wheeled mountain bike. Some people ride them without suspension, but I use only front suspension. I would check to see at your local bike shop if they will let you demo a 29 inch mountain bike before you buy it.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Thanks guys. I'm 6'5" tall so yeah I guess I fit into the "taller rider" category. I like the idea of going back to an all rigid frame with no suspension. Performance has a GT that's rigid but I think it's a 26". No I'm not mail ordering a MTB, just looking for reference. Going to signup at MTBR later today. It'll be fun to get back on a MTB, I kinda miss it but I do love my road bike =)
 

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For a clydesdale like yourself, it's a no-brainer, IMO. I'm ~6' and tried it out 2 years ago. Haven't been back on a 26" since. Sold my Spec. FSRXC 26er and happily riding my 29er SS rigid. Don't cheap out on the wheels. Cheap wheels, you'll feel more flex and feel like the bike is sloppy with the bigger wheels. Get some good wheels (and of course a good frame) and you will see the light!

It's definitely fun to mix it up between a road/mtn bike.
 

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The problem with the 29er board is that they're a bunch of zealots. Don't question any of the benefits - they take it personally for some reason.

At your height for XC riding it probably makes a lot of sense. Depends what you want to do. You don't see downhillers riding 29ers, etc.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
LOL yeah I kinda figured that, goldsbar. I take it with a grain of salt.

The riding I do is just fun rolling singletrack with some technical sections. I hurt myself too much bombing downhills.
 

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duh...
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robbyracer said:
LOL yeah I kinda figured that, goldsbar. I take it with a grain of salt.

The riding I do is just fun rolling singletrack with some technical sections. I hurt myself too much bombing downhills.


tight twisty technical in theory is where 29ers fare worse that 26, due to slightly longer w/b, but as mentioned 29ers will provide the easier rolling benefit. seem to be a popular choice nowadays for all but the shortest riders (rightly so). I guess 96ers and 69ers are dying out?
 

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Speaking of 29ers, does anyone know of a 29er frame with a relatively level top tube?

Can it even be done?
 

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duh...
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buck-50 said:
Speaking of 29ers, does anyone know of a 29er frame with a relatively level top tube?

Can it even be done?


I'm not even sure there are any mtn bikes (period) with a level tt these days... perhaps in a really huge size, where you've maxed out the ht length due to steerer lengths available
 

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FatTireFred said:
I'm not even sure there are any mtn bikes (period) with a level tt these days... perhaps in a really huge size, where you've maxed out the ht length due to steerer lengths available
Love the old-school look. Makes me want to learn how to weld so I can just build one myself.
 

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Shirtcocker
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robbyracer said:
I'm thinking about getting a singlespeed MTB to bash around on so I'm doing the online research thing now. What's the deal with the 29 inch wheels? It seems that all the manufactures want me to buy one. The drone at the LBS says "they're good for big guys like us!"
Anyone have one? Do you like it? What's not to like about it?
I'm 6'2" and I'll never go back to baby wheels. The larger wheels just roll over things better and my bike looks less like a clown bike.
 

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buck-50 said:
Speaking of 29ers, does anyone know of a 29er frame with a relatively level top tube?

Can it even be done?
Probably the closest thing is Surly CrossCheck that you can fit bigger tires under (45, IIRC). Would have to run rigid, too.
 

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Fast No More.
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buck-50 said:
Speaking of 29ers, does anyone know of a 29er frame with a relatively level top tube?

Can it even be done?
You could try and squeeze some big tires into a Bruce Gordon Rock'n'Road. Arguably at the forefront of the 29er revolution (but that's a whole 'nother thread).
 

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Burn baby, burn.
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robbyracer said:
Thanks guys. I'm 6'5" tall so yeah I guess I fit into the "taller rider" category. I like the idea of going back to an all rigid frame with no suspension. Performance has a GT that's rigid but I think it's a 26". No I'm not mail ordering a MTB, just looking for reference. Going to signup at MTBR later today. It'll be fun to get back on a MTB, I kinda miss it but I do love my road bike =)
6'5" = 29er for sure.
The 29er gemetry will see you sit between the wheels rather than perched way up high over smaller 26" wheels. You will obviously be far more balanced n the bike as a result.
I am 6'3" and have had about 5 29ers.
I will never buy another 26" wheeled MTB.
 

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Atom B
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Because they're fun!

The extra rotating mass, plus the lower angle of attack of my larger wheels gives me more momentum, which compliments my 32/20 singlespeed gearing. 25 psi in the tires, and I don't even miss not having any suspension. It's just an absolute blast to ride! And I don't feel limited by my 5' 5", 127 lb size.
 
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