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THE
BURNING QUESTION
WORDS Richard Cunningham

Today's burning question is: Will the 29er Replace the 26-inch-wheel downhill and all-mountain bike? This is the first in a series of Pinkbike reader polls that will cover different sides of the sport's most controversial topics. Representing the 29er is Chris Sugai, President and co-founder of Niner bikes - a company exclusively dedicated to the 29-inch-wheel and one that is already earning a reputation among long-travel riders with its W.F.O. 9. On the 26er side of the argument is Owen Pemberton, designer/engineer at Norco Bikes, and a local hero in BC. Owen is responsible for Norco's highly acclaimed Aurum downhill racer and the 140-mm-travel Sight all-mountain/trailbike.

Pinkbike Pre-Game Show

Downhill, Freeride and All-mountain have been the exclusive domain of the 26-inch-wheel format since day one, and a bike count at Whistler on a ten-thousand-rider day will bear witness that the established metrics of the modern big bike are probably here to stay. Some argue, and justifiably so, that the only reason the 26-inch wheel was chosen for the sport's most advanced disciplines was simply because it was there - and that nobody gave a thought to the possibility that a different wheel diameter might make a better bike. Enter, the 29er and its staunch supporters. Once passed off as the circular battle flag of splinter-group recalcitrant XC hardtail hippies, the 29er has now taken such a big bite from 26-inch-wheel cross-country and trailbike sales that industry insiders are projecting a mass extinction in the near future. If it is true that the demise of the 26-inch wheel cross-country trailbike is inevitable, then it is only a matter of time when the 29-inch wheel will come knocking at the door of the downhill bike. Let's hear what the experts say:


29-Inch VS 26-Inch Wheels
Chris Sugai: President/Co-Founder of Niner Bikes

bigquotesHistory has shown that speaking a non-truth will not hold up. Not just about bikes, but about everything. It may take a week, it may take years, but the truth will always come out. Larger wheels roll better over bumps - it's a fact. You can find it in textbooks."

What are the advantages of a 29er over 26-inch wheels for DH and AM?
“Twenty nine-inch wheels are better for downhill for the same reasons that big wheels are better for cross country. The longer tire contact path creates more traction and better cornering. The larger wheel’s roll-over performance is better in rough terrain. In an apples-to-apples comparison, the 29-inch wheel has less rolling resistance than a 26 inch wheel. It’s a fact”

What design challenges does the 29er face in order to overthrow the 26er?
“Most people say that a comparable 26-inch wheel is stronger than a 29er, and I’d have to agree in theory that this is a valid point. In real life, though, top wheel builders like Gravy [Steve "Gravy" Gravenites] and well-known wheel companies like Mavic all say that the return rates of 26 and 29-inch wheels are the same, so wheel-strength is not an issue. When we have product meetings, we discuss materials, rim-widths and axle spacing. Wheel-strength is never a topic.

"Limited rear-wheel travel is often brought up as a barrier to long-travel 29er design. For bike designs that use a single-pivot swingarm, the only way to extend suspension travel beyond a certain point is to lengthen the swingarm, and that can create challenges for handling. Niner uses CVA [dual-link] suspension with a vertical wheelpath, so the only limit to how much rear-wheel travel we can use is the bottom bracket hitting the ground.

"Of course, you can build a shorter chainstay with a 26-inch wheel. Most of the design conflicts are due to a spacing issue that puts the front derailleur close to the 29er’s tire. The fact that downhill and all-mountain designs use single or double-chainring cranksets, so Niner can match the present 26-inch chainstay standards."

Will the 29er eventually become the standard wheels size for DH and AM?
“Yes, definitely. History has shown that speaking a non-truth will not hold up. Not just about bikes, but about everything. It may take a week, it may take years, but the truth will always come out. Larger wheels roll better over bumps – it’s a fact. You can find it in textbooks. We have all-mountain and downhillers riding our 29ers and on every course, in every case, the times are lower and the riders are faster on 29-inch wheels.

"For us, convincing riders that the 29er is better is an exercise we have gone through three or four times. First, it was that 29ers were only good for single-speeds, then only hardtails. Editors claimed that they were only good for riders five-foot, nine-inches or taller, and now it’s: '29ers are only good for cross country.' In almost every case, the detractors had never ridden a 29er, or hardly rode one. We know how to make a bike with long-travel. All it takes is for people to ride it, experience what the bike can do and then they will see for themselves."


Niner's latest long-travel 29er, the W.F.O 9, is configured with a 150-millimeter rear axle and a DH shock to handle everything from all-mountain, to all-out park riding.

Owen Pemberton: Engineer/Designer at Norco Bikes

bigquotes...one major advantage, as far as ride characteristics are concerned, for the continued use of 26-inch wheels - maneuverability. Even the most agile 29-inch-wheel bikes will not match the maneuverability of a 26-inch-wheel bike."

What are the advantages of a 26-inch wheel over a larger 29 inch size for DH and AM?
"Firstly, I don’t feel you can group downhill and all-mountain together, as they are very different disciplines. However, they do share some common traits where I feel a 26-inch wheel makes a lot of sense, so I’ll try to focus on those.

"For all of the advantages that 29-inch wheels bring to the table, there is one major advantage, as far as ride characteristics are concerned, for the continued use of 26-inch wheels - maneuverability. Even the most agile 29-inch-wheel bikes will not match the maneuverability of a 26-inch-wheel bike. A pretty bold statement, but let me explain. The optimal front-centre/rear-centre balance has been developed over years for 26-inch-wheel bikes to give the ideal ride handling. With the larger, 29-inch wheels, it is extremely difficult to get the rear centre (chainstay) length as short as we desire to give modern ride handling characteristics. 29-inch-wheel bikes are now approaching these rear centre lengths, but they are not quite getting there. Even when they get close, this often results in other compromises that affect the ride of the bike negatively (very slack actual seat angles, for example). If you also factor in the larger rotational mass of 29-inch wheels, which can give the bike what is often described as a ‘sluggish’ feel in tight turns, it is easy to see why 26-inch wheels have the edge in terms of maneuverability.

"For aggressive modern riding, the agility of a bike is extremely important. If we look at the terrain riders are tackling on modern World Cup downhill courses, it is often so severe that the rider cannot rely on the bike's suspension and just plow any more. Look at the fastest guys (and girls) on the planet and they seem to hop and skip their way down the hill, pumping and working the bike, taking to the air when the terrain gets too rough. Obviously we’re not all world cup downhillers, but I’ll wager most of us got into this sport because it’s fun (I know I did). An agile/maneuverable bike is a fun bike!"

What are the technical advantages of the 26-inch format over the 29er?
"Here at Norco, we have had great success with our Shinobi 29er and we are really excited about the launch of the new 2012 Revolver 29er. One of the things we have discovered while exploring the boundaries of 29er full-suspension design is an inherent problem with wheel path and chain growth as we push for more travel. Simply put; if you design a 29-inch-wheel bike to have the same axle path that a 26-inch-wheel bike would have for the desired bump absorption, it will result in significantly more chain growth. This is a result of the bottom bracket on a 29er sitting much farther below the axle line of the wheels. Chain growth is a good thing to a certain extent, as it gives anti-squat characteristics that help the bike pedal efficiently. Too much chain growth, however, will have a detrimental effect on suspension performance and the bikes pedaling ability. Axle path and chain growth are both extremely important components of the suspension system of a bike. The success of the system as a whole is a balancing act of all these components. For longer-travel applications, the 29-inch wheel introduces too many compromises to the system."

What are the chances that 29er designers can match or exceed the potential of the 26-inch format?
"For downhill/freeride applications (180 millimeters - plus), the short answer is slim to none. The topics discussed above are just some of the more significant reasons why. There are other considerations, such as bike fit - big wheels and big travel mean increased stand-over height and handlebar height. Wheel-strength is also a big issue, but I do expect 29-inch-wheel technology will continue to improve. For trail and all-mountain applications (140 to 160 millimeters), it is less clear cut. 29ers can definitely bring some significant advantages to these disciplines, however, the agility of a 26-inch wheel is still what a lot of people want out of an all-mountain bike."


Owen Pemberton designed Norco's flagship Aurum downhill racing bike. The Aurum, is said by many, to have no peer in the Northwest's ultra-technical terrain.





And, the Winner Is: Cast your votes on the future of 29-inch DH and AM bikes.








Must Read This Week

526 Comments

  • + 147
 There's not a right and a wrong in this debat. 'The best bike' is a subjective matter and whilst 29" DH bikes wont suit everyones taste, they will fit some..

What's wrong with giving the consumer a choise? Loosen up and ride what you like. Don't hate.
  • + 72
 Because as soon as yet another new 'standard' is introduced companies will increase prices on everything they make to accommodate for the cost of the new products they have to add to their line. Sure variety is nice, but it costs everyone.Im 6ft 6 and think that maybe 29er wheels would benefit people of my size, but I have my reservations, especially when it comes to FR and Dh bikes with more than 140mm of travel. And also at least Owen gave an honest, balanced and well thought out view on both products in question using accurate information to back up his point. Listening to Sugai he sounds like he is just relentlessly plugging his own company for personal benefit instead of giving the whole picture. 'History has shown that speaking a non-truth will not hold up' is a bit melodramatic when it comes to the size of a bike wheel.
  • - 58
 I myself got tired of 26" wheels since they are so small. When I got the chance to try a 29er I got the urge to go ride again with a bike that felt right for me. In a nearby future I'm going to order a 29er fully with at least 130mm travel and use it for all mountain. I would also say at the moment there arent any 29DH bikes out there so in that area 26" is the only choice. I will use my 26" DH bike until there is a very good 29er out.

I would also like a 29er dj bike, I'm not into real tech rideing and just want to jump and have fun, all the good dj bikes out there are so small and not fun to ride for me.

And I would not recomend a 29er to a person who hasent ridden before since the 26" bikes will let you get used to rideing easier and learn the basics before going over to the bigger bike wich will take atm a lot more skill riddeing if you want to ride the tech stuff you do with a 26"

And like many of you all have said, Chris speaks only for 29er and Owen takes up valid points although I do not like people who are saying things are "impossible" although today I also would say there isent much going on in the 29er DH genre. So I wouldent say this will be set in stone since I'm quite sure in the future we will have one or more persons coming up with some new linkage designes that will be perfect for a 29er only, time will tell.
  • + 221
 lol..... 29er dirt jump bike
  • + 25
 29ers will only take over the scene if they prove to be faster, mainly at the top level. If they can make you fly down the mountain with ease and shave seconds off your time, then everyone will want one just to stay equal/be ahead of the competition.

i guess only time will tell.
  • + 30
 I think that yeah, maybe 29 inch wheels are easier to ride downhill with. But I didn't start riding downhill because I wanted it to be easy. How fun would it be if you had a superfuturespace-bike that could just roll down any downhill course in the world? I think 26inch is really good and reliable. Why switch something that works just fine?
Put the focus on things that are actual problems instead. Like deraillers that get smashed all the time..
  • + 14
 Longer wheels bases and less maneuverability would suck on a lot of downhill courses since tight cornering is the name of the game. Other courses the increased stability and ability to absorb bumps would speed you up. Same thing goes for AM. Free Riders and DJers will never switch over any more than BMXers will. They have the best wheels for the job already. If you make then wheels bigger the wheel base would grow and the jumps would have to grow just to be able to pump. It would get stupid pretty fast. You couldn't take them to the skate park ever. They just wouldn't flow.
  • + 26
 29 and DH. Just doesnt fit together for me.
  • + 93
 Notice how Chris Sugai never talks about higher center of gravity or slower tight cornering speed, two of the most important aspects of DH racing and not coincidentally, two of the biggest weaknesses of 29ers. This guy has no credibility in my eyes, he just wants to sell his bikes. It reminds me of years ago when people like Scott Nicol and Keith Bontrager and Trek definitively declared that the unified rear triangle suspension design was superior to all others.

On a very few Super D courses a 29er might be faster than a 26". But not for most enduro-style races, which is the more prevalent trend in All Mountain-type racing these days. Definitely no way a 29er is faster than a 26 in DH racing, unless you are racing racing on the lamest track ever!

The bottom line for me is that when I'm going downhill, 26" bikes are more fun, which really is the most important factor to me. The fact that they are also faster in almost all DH situations makes this a non-debate. I used too be more open minded about 29 ers, but I'm getting a little annoyed by the delusional arrogance like we see from Sugai.

There are also geometry issues with 29" DH bikes. If the head angle is slack enough, then the wheelbase is too long, and if the the wheelbase is short enough, then you can't have the slack head angle. Unless you go with a super short top tube, which wouldn't work either. I would like to try aDH bike with a 650b front wheel, that might work...
  • + 10
 IMHO--- I think Sugai has forgotten his history when two standards compete human nature decides not superior/inferior specs eg VHS/ Betamax Apple/IBM Cass/DAT Gasoline/Electric/Steam lots of great ideas have been forgotten in favor of whats popular, ultimately consumers will decide! , 29'ers face alot of engineering problems fork stiffness in long travel, heavier wheels/tires/tubes add load to suspension . I want a 29er with 7 inches of travel 65 deg ha and 28 inch standover all under 35 lbs!!! (it's ok i'll wait) I think 29'ers have some advantages over 26'ers just not enough for me to buy one right now, let's not forget 26'ers are also getting lighter, faster, stronger every year and u can get a 30lbs DH today if you have the coin!!!
  • - 4
 ¿Está usted loco! Esto no es una fiesta, no sólo puede volcar un aparato de radio en el océano y esperar que Mad Max no le ganar'a el culo en el olvido, hizo frenos se sustituyen por los que montaban freno menos, creo que no. La gente blanca ...
  • + 2
 @protour I agree with you to a certain extent. The 29er dh idea has another couple years to be sorted out but the issues that they're having with geometry is basically the same as the issues with short travel 29ers when they were first introduced. In my opinion, 29ers have taken over XC for the better. You don't see too many 26 inch bikes podium anymore. But the technology is slowly moving it's way up so we might see a capable dh bike soon. I personally don't agree with 29er DH bikes but companies might change our minds in the future
  • + 23
 seriously? when you're company's name is Niner? Sugai comes across defensive to me and he couldn't handle the warranties with his "truth". Fail. 29er zealots are just that(especially Niner ones that I've come across). A company like Norco on the other hand sees it simply as a choice in this case. yeah monster trucks are fun but give me a rally car 24/7 and 2x on race day. different wheel sizes exist for valid reasons. Yeah Mike Montgomery can backflip a 29er but he probably could on a coaster brake clunker too. would he rather do it on his 26dj? probably.
  • + 20
 you'll notice the man selling 29" only puts points for 29". you'll notice the man selling both 29" and 26" puts points supporting both. quel surprise...
  • + 2
 on pure coolness factor..Owen wins with CancerBats tee & beastie cover of Sabotage!
  • + 4
 the way i see it, if you want to ride a 29er on downhilll or any type of riding, you can. but personally, i dont think the 29er wheels of today are strong enough to handle the crazy drops or rocks of a downhill course, then we also come into problems with front suspension, you are gonna need longer lowers if your going to have a 8 inch 29er fork, thats just common sense. longer lowers will add weight which is a big problem considering that most big dh race bikes are around the 40lb mark, or higher. i personally am going to stick with 26 until i see a 29er dh or fr bike that is not any heavier than a 26 dh or fr bike, and has he same travel front and back, and can handle drops such as ones in redbull rampage or can handle at least 2 seasons of world cup races, without having any problems relating to the wheel size.
  • + 2
 I am all for 29ers as an all mountain option. 29er dominating or even on par with 26 for DH/FR is absurd to talk about... if this were 650b for DH/FR then there could be a real debate but that is a long way off (if ever)...
  • + 7
 Hahahaha - love this you tube about 29er's vs 26ers!!! www.youtube.com/watch?v=4ecwpBNSE6w&feature=youtube_gdata_player
  • + 23
 I am a small female rider and was really wanting to get a 29er XC bike earlier this year. I have some friends that ride the SantaCruz tall boy 29er like it is a DH bike (that bike seems to defy the problems that many have noted here about 29er bikes!! North shore drops, steep tight corners...no prob on the Tallboy (although, it is worth noting that the riders are so good, they could prob make any bike look awesome)). Anyway, being 5'3 and 105lbs I contacted SantaCruz to find out why they don't have a Tallboy to fit me and here is their response....
"This is a technical and somewhat fundamental issue.
Basically the Tallboys 29er suspension platform with 100mm of rear wheel
travel and a 100-120mm fork is too large of an overall package to fit into a
smaller/compact frame without a lot of compromises. The technical reason is
that to make a smaller frame size on the tallboy we would need to make a
whole new swingarm and lower the upper link/shock mount which then requires
a redesigned shock rate and leverage ratio and probably a different shock
size to work with that. There would still be lots of toe overlap at the
front end.

Fundamentally, smaller size riders will fit better on 26" wheeled bikes in
the same way that juveniles and kids fit better on 24", 20" and 16" wheeled
bikes. The benefits of larger wheels do not outweigh the drawbacks at some
point.

The Medium size Tallboy has a top tube length of 23" and a standover of
29.1". This is actually fairly compact as far as full suspension 29ers go.
Probably still a little big for you at 5'3" though. We would recommend our
Blur-XC model -
www.santacruzbicycles.com/blurxc_carbon

Thanks for your interest in Santa Cruz, and let me know if you have any
other questions."

I was so impressed with Santa Cruz for their honest response....unfortunately I don't own one of their bikes, but I would recommend them based on awesome customer support and honest, rational feedback!
  • + 40
 "We have all-mountain and downhillers riding our 29ers and on every course, in every case, the times are lower and the riders are faster on 29-inch wheels." Whaaaaaaaaaaa? Anyone else find this a bit of a crazy comment? How can that be backed up? The good news is I have independent studies showing that my riders, equiped with titanium unicorns, are currently beating those land speed records set by Sugai's 29er posse and as such biking may be taking a back seat to unicorn jockeying, where the chainstay length has also been optimized, but only in the thoroughbreds.
  • + 6
 "The larger wheel’s roll-over performance is better in rough terrain. In every case, the 29-inch wheel has less rolling resistance than a 26 inch wheel. It’s a fact”

I agree, however, with that in mind, why stop at 29"? Obviously that theory only works to a point and then other compromises take over, so simply stating bigger is better because it rolls over more is only part of the equation. I want to hear why he stops at 29, and not 31 for example.
  • - 1
 at jdigdog, i thought of the exact same video while reading this. i love those videos.
  • + 9
 "We have all-mountain and downhillers riding our 29ers and on every course, in every case, the times are lower and the riders are faster on 29-inch wheels."

Sugai --> Can you really back this up? Are we talking about a nature path in Florida or a DH course? Your credibility on this topic is suspect at best.

It would be nice to here someone more credible defend 29'r DH.
  • + 0
 That's the bike JD was thinking about racing last year at some races, but as far as I know he never did...most likely because it was slower than his 26".
  • + 7
 whats with the wrestling game picture?
  • + 3
 "Niner's latest long-travel 29er, the W.F.O 9, is configured with a 150-millimeter rear axle and a DH shock to handle everything from all-mountain, to all-out park riding."

Um, I spy, with my little eye, an RP23 and a QR skewer.

Based on this whargarbling "argument" of a post, I betting the next most "controversial" issue we face as mountain bikers will be whether these new-fangled carbon fiber DH frames can actually handle the rigors of DH riding. One side will be someone who says yes, and present reasons why. The other side will be a guy who will tell us a story about how he heard that his friend broke a carbon fiber frame and when it broke it failed catastrophically and, like, he hurt himself and if it was an aluminum frame it wouldn't have happened.
  • + 3
 OK, Bigger wheel = more weight and because of the greater diameter, less strong wheel, 26 is perfect why change it??
  • + 3
 Buy the bike you like riding... plain and simple.

If you find it easier/faster to ride down the trails you ride with a 29er then so be it. This is like the age old debate of making trails easier or more difficult at bike parks/hills in so many ways... if you like riding easier trails then ride/build those, just don't ruin things for people who already enjoy it as it is.

Just remember that 'BEST' can be a pretty f@#!^g relative term!
  • + 3
 The world is flat,,if you go too far, you will fall off the edge.. That's a fact...Who talks like that?? Sugai is just trying to market a product, even if it's a pile he will stand behind it because he knows there are a few monkeys out there, that will fall for his reasoning,, how bout a 50" wheel (less rolling resistance, Right??) gimmie a break......A 29er is probably an ok bike to go check your mail box with, but for for real world, tight tech super D, or DH,, even XC, no way! unless its a strait run..To me its like riding a road bike on dirt, its just too clumsy..
  • + 3
 I liked when he said that he could make a chain-stay just as short as a 26" wheel...I guess their gonna start making the chain-stays sit below the axle's center line by over 3" or else that, just like most of his rhetoric is completely BS. They(26 and 29" wheels) both have their up and downs, but Sugai is just pushing marketing crap out his word hole. 29's might be great in the wide open but my experience is they're all SUCKED here in the tight NW forrests I ride in.
  • + 3
 Sometimes I like to downhill with my 24" dirt jumper, k-rads and a single rear brake to keep things real.

Try it for a weekend THEN go back to your 26" DH rig and see what happens.
  • + 2
 mine:
www.pinkbike.com/photo/6970738



It is a fun bike to ride, but I wish the rear triangle was stronger. The rear was replaced and I still prefer it to 26 for all types of mtb riding but dj/trials... for that 26" is big enough.

Wheels are strong enough if you build them with DH in mind (I used 36h flows on SS hadley DH hubs), and the dorado/ccdb is a sweet combo... the 2.5" WTB Dissents are nice too.
  • + 1
 Hah! That's the HT angle with that fork on???
  • + 1
 Never measured it, but slack enough for me.
  • + 1
 No THRU-Axle/Bolt-on option (I mean a standard QR is REALLY not excusable these days,and that has nothing to do with wheel size either...) and seeing that rear end fail like that Makes me feel Niner needs to do some work on that bike for all they claim about it... Still, I think it looks like a SUPER fun rig and I'd love to throw a leg over one for sure aye. Super slack Geo. is something that, while it's certainly got a purpose, has really only been such an issue in the last 2 years or so... According to common thoughts, alot of the bikes I've owned/ridden should "suck" but really, while there's merrit to super slack numbers it's not everything and really for an overall rig TOO slack can be a "not good" thing for some riders. Let's remember the WFO isn't a DH race rig or even a DH rig for that matter. The Lenz Sports 29" DH and FR bikes are slacker and from what I've read, more suited to that type fo riding then the WFO is in reality. Like I said, a catastrphic failure of the Axle/stay yoke like that isn't too confidence inspiring and is a place ALL bikes that are ment to be ridden in this manner should have overbuilt for longevity of the frame.
  • + 1
 haha, mine is a 135x12 maxle and I broke my transition bank near the same place (bolt on). Apparently, over the past few years, many bike companies forgot that they need to reinforce the chainstays by the disc tab mounts. Also, the replacement has held up to much bigger stuff than the one that snapped it... the first one was defective.
  • + 1
 Interesting, I guess I have to retract my above statement, I hadn't realized they hada Maxle rear-end aye... That's a good thing to know. Is it a full-on Maxxle or a Maxxle Lite??? I'm also glad to hear the rear yoke was defective. Like I said that's a place that see's SO much stress. What/where was the deffect??? Bad weld or something??? A HT breaking there is one thing, but a fully with the added stress relief of the suspension and the bigger wheels taking less of a hit due to rolling over things easier... Well, I'd be scarred if that's breaking aye. How were Niner about replacing it for you??? Good customer service???
  • + 1
 Yeah, it started at the welds, customer service was excellent and they got it replaced quick.
  • + 1
 Another example is: did the 69er replace the missionary position? For some it did, some liked both and for others it wasn't their cup of tea so no 29ers will never replace a 26" wheeled bike but merely give another choice for those who would like such a thing.
  • + 1
 lol Eloquently put aye, I can get behind that...

I can see the use of both, but not the use of ONLY 29 so I'm probably never going to be a convert n the way Sugoi think we all will be. Now the Banshee Rune II and the BlkMrkt Roam are bikes that can truly do it all aye (I'm really considering a RuneII, haven't heard anything about the Roam but it's dead sexy IMO). All three wheel sizes on one bike?!?!?!?!??!?!?! f*ck YEAH, sign me up. It'd be awesome to have 3 sets of wheels for one frame, I could see that being perfect for long roadtrips where you mght be riding trail one day then hitting the park another, stop off for a quick Enduro race then back out for a backcountry epic all one one frame. Sugoi is just drinking too much of his own kool-aid, 29's will never "replace" 26s entirely, but they'll suplant them for some riders, and that's fine, but what he's preaching is pure marketing spew and I probably wouldn't buy a Niner bike just because I don't care to support a company that's presented in that way. Next thing you know he'll be touting skin-suits and steep head-angles. Guys a ponce IMO.
[Reply]
  • + 76
 "the return rates of 26 and 29-inch wheels are the same, so wheel-strength is not an issue".... erm well i think it is. 26inch wheels are used for dh, fr and xc bikes and 29 pretty much arent. So 26 are getting much more of a beating. So if they're getting returned at the same rate. Theres something wrong there...
  • + 10
 Good point man.
  • + 3
 I have to agree. I raced xc for a long time on 26 inch wheels and never had any problems. I even rode stans ZTR crests as my everyday rims. then this year i bought a 29 full suspension and have had nothing but issues with the wheels. on my first ride on the brand new bike i destroyed the back wheel to the point of needing replacement. the larger diameter rims are definitely not as strong as 26 inch wheels because of the larger size. that's probably why wheel makes back in the start of mountain biking made 26inch wheels because the larger diameter of a 700c wheel couldn't take the abuse. The strength of the wheels on the dh 29er rigs will definitely be an issue for manufactures to overcome.
  • + 1
 @cambo, the original choice with 26inch may have had to do more with the width of available rims...700c/27inch road rims are too narrow for balloon tires. And there are some super strong 700C tandem wheels out there.

As for the return rate of wheels, I would hope that Sugoi is comparing apple to apples, and looking at, say Mavic C29ssmax vs 26" Crossmax ST/SLR. But I guess we don't know what he included in his numbers.
  • + 2
 Supreme37 - it's hard to make a judgement on this. He may be comparing like with like - 26" XC wheels with 29" XC wheels. I find it unlikely he's comparing 26" DH rims with a 29" XC rim.
  • + 1
 @poozank, yeah, that's really weird... i've never seen a 26" wheel taco before when it's been landed on sideways. MUST be an inherent weakness to 29" wheels.
  • + 2
 not saying that but the chances are much higher due to the longer spoke length etc.
  • + 2
 harriieee - in that case he should have realy been more specific when trying to make a point. but still the number of xc riders that ride 26" wheels must be alot higher than the 29"ers so for the minority to have to send the wheels back at the same rate as the majority i have to say again... Theres something wrong there... haha
  • + 1
 Anyone got a set of 29" DH wheels to compare with lol? What about tires bonking seats and stuff like that? This seems kinda goofy.
  • + 0
 29 wheels for DH will NEVER happen!!!! imagine how much it would suck to jump stuff with them
  • + 2
 Supreme37- 29ers maybe a minority across the pond but here, at least where I am-the midwest, they are pretty equal. Actually 29ers might be taking over. I was talking to a giant and spec rep and they said that they don't even anticipate theri companies to make hard tail 26ers in the next year or so or at least they wont be available in your LBS with out special order and you can barely find a 26inch bike in most of the shops, it's a shame. Granted most people don't have DH and Freeride rigs here. I am a minority but even the trail/all-m scene is going to 29ers like the tall boy and stumpy 29er ect.... sad day! Frown
  • + 0
 @cglasford - the midwest is flat.
  • + 1
 You are correct there are no big mountains here but that wasn't my point. My point is according the to the reps I spoke with the majority of bikes especially xc FS and HT as well as trail wil will soon only be made in 29er. Look at trek they use to have a full line of the Top fuel no they have two, carbon and team carbon, same with specialized carbon or s-works. I don't think that 29ers will take the freeride and dh game but it has to do with marketing and availability. shops stock what people want to a point but also what the big companies push and the people will ride what they want to a point but also they ride what is redily available to buy and have serviced. so if companies start pushing 29ers harder shops will stock more and you will see a larger number of 29ers out there which will only fuel the fire.
  • + 2
 @ cglasford:
29ers as fuel for a fire doesn't sound like a bad idea . . .

Just kidding. The lbs has been pushing 29ers on the yuppy roadie population for a few years now, and I gotta say, it gets them onto single track. Seems like these are just right for the roadies who aren't sure they want off the roads. I think of them as training wheels mostly. They are nicer to people who haven't figured how to work with the trail instead of against it and they are very nice for covering a lot of miles on those fire roads, which is what the roadies love to do.
I figure that when i'm a geezer I'll buy myself a gold colored toyota avalon and a 29er and use it yo get me around. Until then, as long as I can work the flow of the trail on a smaller wheelbase with more flickable, sturdier wheels. I will.
A SS 29er for commuting to college daily might be nice though . . .
  • + 1
 Is your college on a mountain? Or do you want to go back to the 90's when everyone bought mountain bikes for commuting on roads?
  • + 1
 There are single track trails for part of the way and behind it for between classes.
  • + 1
 fixie + messenger bag and you're set
  • + 1
 I like to coast too much.
  • + 1
 But but but, you won't be hip unless its a fixie.
  • + 2
 But I can't afford those tight girls pants. Dang.
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  • + 26
 I agree with teamdoa it's just another way to separate you from your cash for little benefit to the average joe . I think more effort should be concentrated on removing the derrailleur from mountainbiking , we have first class brakes and suspension and rely on a lever on a spring to drag your gears across , I think this would be more advantageous to the average rider than bigger wheels , I rode the Kielder 100 in Sept this year and the carnage of failed drivetrains , chainsuck and such was unbelievable . Apologies for going off point .
  • + 6
 definately something companies should be looking into is a way of getting rid of the mech, it's pretty much the most vulnerable part on any bike because of it is, i know some companies have started with the internal gearbox but again it's expensive, there must be some sort of way to get rid of a rear mech other than the gearbox?
[Reply]
  • + 23
 I'm calling shenanigans on this.
I hate 29 inch wheels when going downhill, it's just too much wheel for comfort. Not to mention the lack of maneuverability over the 26 inch wheels.
The 29 inch wheel is a climbing advantage, that's all I see it as.
Even if the 29 inch wheel DH bike is massly produced, I don't give a shit, I'm sticking with 26.
I mean, why the f*ck are we even arguing this? I thought it was common knowledge that 29 inch wheels are not for DH.
Correct me if i'm wrong.
  • + 14
 amen to that, i wanna see someone beat danny hart at champrey on a 29'er lol
  • + 2
 You hate 29er wheels going downhill?!?! I hate them going up hill!! Downhill they're awesome

But 29er wheels will never be used for downhill, I think 140mm travel is the most that they should be used on.
I ride a Spesh Epic 29er and it's awesome for descending, feels like a 120mm trail bike, I've never found maneuverability a problem but on a downhill track like champery it wouldn't be easy I don't think
  • + 1
 i agree i want/need a flickable downhill bike, and riding a gaint 29er would be more coastin down the hill without as much control over what the bike does
[Reply]
  • + 19
 As any BMXer knows, you can increase your speed without pedalling. Its called 'pumping', and its how pump tracks work. Chris Sugoi repeats "29ers roll better" but that is the attitude of someone who is 'owned' by the terrain they ride - a good rider owns the terrain. A good rider pumps the hell out of the terrain and airs here and there and manuals divots etc etc. There is more to going faster than merely creating less rolling resistance.

Apart from the plenty of other riding of 29ers I've done, I once got a RIP 9 and Giant Reign in the same parking lot for a certain test, each with similar stem lengths and bar width etc. I pump some flat turns on the Reign and I get a good speed going and propel myself around the car park without pedalling. I then try the same thing on the RIP 9 and I find I can't do it anywhere near as well. It turns too slow and is slow to flop from left to right. I keep switching between bikes to make sure. Now in the tight singletrack I love that is a deal breaker. If I was back on the long straighter trails of California, then a 29er makes lots of sense, but if you go down to the woods today you'll find the 26er is king.

As Waki correctly says above... "It depends".
  • + 2
 Yep. Pumping through the rooted trails is what makes up half the flow that makes a narrow forest trail a blast. The other half is the cornering. If you put those two things on the chopping block (small bump compliance, wheel base and overall weight all being issues ) then you might better ride rail trails. I want a ss 29er for commuting and pulling my kids in the bike trailer. Otherwise I'll stick with what I got. Until I'm to old.
  • + 1
 Great poiunt Jamamodel... I find speed in things on the trail all the time and when I ride with riders who as you say are "owned by the terrain" I tend to litteraly sit at trail forks waiting for them... Oddly enough I've done this several times with a few guys riding 29's... I know that's odd seeing as Sugoi claims that litteraly CAN NOT HAPPEN...
[Reply]
  • + 18
 on a civil and constructive note. for the purpose of debate. 'Owen pemberton' has less of a vested interest than 'Chris sugai', and so i trust his word more, coupled with the fact he is an engineer and he covered alot more valid points than chris in the article. my main issue is how to get your 29er into the boot of your car. An already pissy job in the mud and rain made harder by bigger wheels and fugged up geometry.
  • + 6
 A very excellent point that you make there. Pemberton's company has experience in both 26 and 29 inch wheels, whereas Niner has sworn off the 26 like a bad habit. The products we're seeing from Niner look nice, but Sugai's comments on the 26 feel like an attack with the intent to revolutionize the industry- How many times did he say "It's a fact"? I also keep seeing ways in which Sugai's statements were at least a little out of context.

Back to the actual topic instead of the reps:

Wheel strength and rigidity also plays into the handling characteristics of the bike. Lateral strength can't be a non-factor in wheel building (which is how we ended up with the 110mm and 100mm hub standards, as well as 135 and 150. Am I right?). Even if Niner doesn't discuss the strength of wheel builds for now, it will have to come up in engineering if they try to build a DH 29er. They're going to have to face up to the loss of lateral rigidity in conjunction with having to deal with making the whole thing a bigger (and therefore more sluggish) bike.

Not saying that it's a terrible idea altogether. With 6 billion people on the planet and all the world's terrain to ride on, it has to have an application somewhere. It's just significantly less likely that it'll be the best choice for the average downhiller.
  • + 2
 I can vouche for how much of a pain it is to fit a 29er into a hatchback...
  • + 1
 Norco has also had a lot less recalls/defective material designs on their XC/AM full suspension models the past few years than Niner has, while selling WAY more bikes. People who LOVE the niner brand often seem to miss the fact that many a Niner owner has gone many months unable to ride because of recalled Jet and Rip frames the past few seasons. With Norco, if they have a problem discovered in a frame, they take care of you a LOT quicker to get you rolling again. And the fact that they're not trying to squeeze a bigger wheel into a design that was originally meant for 26er wheels has a lot to do with it. Niner's whole "US patented" CVA suspension linkage design is in fact, a stolen design. Niner "designs" their bikes in the USA sure, but manufacturing is done in Taiwan, and in Taiwan there are hundreds of companies building bicycle frames. And one of them had a 4-bar linkage 26er AM/FR design that uses the exact same pivot/linkage layout as Niner's CVA, and that was available for any brand to use if they so chose to order enough. And guess what, at least one canadian brand (Sinner Cycles) did just that, and I've seen them firsthand. And they came out in the store front level before Niner's first Rip appeared in magazines even. But in the USA, anyone can patent an already existing invention even if they didn't actually invent it themselves...so...Niner "patents" a design they didn't have anything to do with the invention of to pump up their marketing value of their brand. But again, they've now had to find a way to squeeze a 29 inch wheel into the space that previously held a 26 inch wheel. Oh and they tried to do it at a lighter frame weight as well. And guess what was lost in that quest for lighter weight? Oh yeah... strength.
  • + 1
 We chose Chris Sugai for the part because he is a 29er pioneer and thus, has a massive amount of 29er design experience as well as a first-hand knowledge of the conflicts of bringing a new and controversial product into the always reticent cycling community. We needed both aspects of the 29er story to present the issue in its entirety. Owen was chosen because he is a cool-headed, talented designer who has experience in both 26 and 29-inch-wheel design - and because he can rock and roll on a DH rig, so he can support the 26er argument on and off the bike. Niner co-founder Steve Domahidy cut his teeth designing 26ers of all genres, so he also knows both sides of the issue. While Steve was at Niner, he did the design and computer engineering there working side by side with Chris. Steve holds Niner's CVA suspension patent. See Steve here: www.youtube.com/watch?v=iYW_10zxpk0

Judging by the quality comments here - negative, positive and otherwise - PB chose the right men for the job.
RC
  • + 4
 All I can say is that in my riding crew, there isn't a single "good" rider (without a vested interest in 29" wheels) that would choose a 29er over a 26" bike.

The smooth, balanced, skilled, experienced trail riders that I ride with all want the smaller wheels; it's not for lack of trying the bigger wheels either. Beginners, XC racers, and the guys without technical handling skills all love 29ers.
  • + 1
 i think mr. cunningham with his 29erbikeAction mag history would not be the best choice to bring this type of "debate" for discussion. I vote Mike Levy. next time...all the time.
  • + 7
 Actually its unfair to say 29erBikeAction history since MBA was very much anti-29er until the past year or so. Hell you could accuse Dirt Rag, Mountain Biking UK, WhatMountainBike, and a host of other magazines of shifting their reviews of late to bigger wheel bikes. RC posing the question for debate is perfectly fine as he's been both an engineer/frame builder himself with early proven history in bringing working 26er full suspension designs to market as well as a company founder (Mantis Bicycles was his own brand, and he consulted for Nishiki and others)... of course the kids that make up 90% of pinkbike's membership wouldn't know that as many weren't even born yet.

But rather than interview a company guy who has an interest in the sales of NOTHING but 29ers, and a guy from a company that does both 26 and 29 bikes, it would have made more sense to have asked actual professional riders with experience in DH/FR. I would have for example picked Wade Simmons to debate for 29er (as he currently spends most of his time ON a Rocky Mountain Altitude 29 when riding the North Shore) and oh maybe Brian Lopes who rides for/helped develop of Ibis's Mojo HD. It doesn't hurt the debate if you went with them as both brands started out with 26er bikes, and have now begun to offer some rather nice 29er models so as factory riders they'd have access to pretty much any bike they'd want to ride and compare.

If they really wanted to stick to a company engineer to poo-poo 29 DHs, they could simply have gotten someone from Trek who tested a prototype 29er DH bike last year and then decided NOT to take it to production status, and then they could give reasons as to why it didn't work out fot them.
  • + 1
 well thought out reasonable argument there. many props from me
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  • + 14
 Motocrossers figured out ages ago that there's a limit to how big you can make a wheel that relies on strands of wire held in tension for strength, yet for some reason, designers/owners of 29er heavy brands just won't accept the fact that they won't be taking over the whole industry. If you want bigger wheels with a 7+ travel inch bike, then the 650B rim size makes better sense than does 700C. In fact in all likelyhood, if the early production mountain bike brands had been able to have better sources of 650B knobby tires (in the late 70s, only Nokian offered tires like that, and they weren't exporting hardly any tires to N.A.) then we'd all have been riding that size wheel instead of 26ers for the past three decades.
  • + 1
 l'm a firm believer that the bike industry people copy motocross designs concepts left N right. Motorcross, l bet, has a ga-jillion more dollars available for R&D. Bike companies don't have nearly the cash flow of motorcross, especially not the smaller companies. l dig 29ers for the all mountain & XC riding, don't know about them as a full blown DH rig. l'll believe it when l see it. We do Niner... great brand!! great products.... We also do Transition and l can't wait to get my hands on the 29er they're coming out with the (the Bandit). It's super pimp but it's not a DH rig... freeridey for sure, just watch the video they have for it, it's sick what they're doing with it.
[Reply]
  • + 11
 Good to see Owen Pemberton (best last name ever) absolutely schooling that other guy with real facts and knowledge instead of a bunch of false promises, hopes, and dreams.
And when the other guy has product meetings and doesn't even mention wheel strength as a problem maybe he should realize he's missing something important and for that reason and many others be concerned about the future of his company?
Theres definitely a place for 29'ers. Mostly on hippie hardtail bikes. But when you really want to shred a trail that isn't basically road biking on dirt i think its pretty obvious where we'll be in the near future.
I do agree that a bigger wheel rolls over stuff better.
Seems to be more to it than that though eh?
[Reply]
  • + 8
 I was a long time doubter of the 29" wheel until I actually rode one that really fit me. Now it is so obvious of the advantages of a 29 over a 26. People say that in turns slower or sluggish, and true it takes a bit more to turn it but it'd not going to make you not be able to make a turn that you could do on 26, let's be honest the bike isn't what prevents you from making that turn-its the rider. I found I just have to lean it a bit more and I can hit every corner just as fast.

Another thing I noticed when switching over is that you don't need as much travel because the wheel doesn't go down into holes and between rocks as much. I went from a 6" trail bike to a 5" 29er and my 29er feels like it has more travel and descends more confidently. So while a 9-10" travel 29er dh bike may never happen, I don't see any reason why a 7 or even 8 inch bike would not be competitive on the DH scene.

The ways in which manufactures can use various suspension designs, tube bending, and other stuff these days I do not feel the stand-over height, or bar height is a limiting factor- obviously chainstays will need to be a hair longer. The only real hold ups I see in the 29er renaissance is the fork choices- there is only one right now and it will be tough to get the other big 3 making a new fork. Also the perception of 29er wheels, people bash em all the time here but according to that survey most haven't even ridden one. Maybe before you talk smack on 29, go ride a few and see why many shops are selling em 2:1 over 26. After all who decided 26 was the best size anyway? the advantage 26 has is that it came first.
  • + 3
 I did drink the 29 kool-aid for a year on a custom frame and really tried to adjust to it but I had the opposite outcome. Coming from bmx and moto, I did not like the slower "snap" it had relative to my riding preferences. The differences were simply not as advantageous enough for me to be sold on it completely.

Knowing that bike handling skills and fitness has alot to do with what we are talking about, I think they do have their place for certain riders and terrain. 29 has certainly been out long enough that at this point they should have already been prevalent on the DH, freeride, enduro scenes BUT they are not. It isn't about materials. It's just about design applications, right? Sugai's "truth" is not mine and claiming it to be mine 2wks, 10yrs or whatever it takes is pretty simple self-preservation mode. Plenty of truths for all of us like gravity, and girls are soft, beer is food, a good post ride burrito is essential, but prophets on bikes (not so sure).
  • + 3
 Lots of people on forums (and bike shops) write off 29er as gimmickery from the industry without actually riding one. And one or two rides around the local loop doesn't count. As jagaracia said, you almost need to re-learn how to ride a 29er, with a lot more 'body english', as it handles quite different from 26". I think that's one major reason why some seasoned (26") riders may not like them..at first.
  • + 1
 @Piks-Liks, I totally agree. my first (decent) mountain bike was (is) a 29er. I've progressed on 29ers so much that to me riding a 26" bike feels weird. Instead of feeling "agile," to me they feel unstable. Maybe this is just the opposite of what long-time 26er riders feel when they get on a 29er.
IMO, to each your own. I'm 6'6" and i like riding 29ers. they're just more proportional to me. I'd gladly ride a DH 29er (that intense 2951 looks sick), but there are definitely people who shouldn't. Who'se place is it to tell someone what kind of bike they should ride anyway?
  • + 2
 I've been riding mountain bikes for about 20 years now and own and ride multiple 26's and 29'ers. I love em both, they have different redeeming qualities and setbacks, are for different purposes, yadda yadda yadda...

What I find (and am curious to see if I'm not alone) is that the learning curve from 26 to 29 is much less steep as it is when you get used to the ride of 29 and try to get away with the same riding style on a 26. I was actually quite surprised how accustomed I got to being "lazy" on the 29. They really do hide a lot of mistakes and allow you to ride a bit more "sloppy."

This is part of the reason why I think the mid-level 29er hardtail is gaining so much market share. It's allowing entry level enthusiasts and newcomers to the sport feel more confident right off the bat.
  • + 1
 Why would someone want a bike that requires more work? ( 'a lot more body english' to be precise).. I mean.. when people are paying thousands out the nose for aero-bars, spandex, aero helmets, special tubing, tires with less rolling resistance, parts that vary in weight by only a few grams, and even in some cases "aerodynamic paint"(I understand these are roadie terms, but I'm getting to the point), why would that be a reasonable argument?
I consider myself a well rounded rider. Having a background not only in DH, but also having competed in Time Trials, Road Racing, Cyclocross, XC (on both 26 an 29 inch bikes) and also 5 years of working in a shop, 3 of which were as a mechanic I can probably say without arrogance that I've a pretty good idea of what a bike can and cannot do.
My take.. 29ers are fast. They cruise like no tomorrow when given enough of a runway, and the 29er I rode I would say handled really well (Niner Hardtail), but in rocky, rooty, or rutty conditions the bike began to feel unstable. Mainly because even though a larger tire does smooth out smaller bumps.. when hit with a much larger bump, the kind even a DH suspension can't suck up all the way, it simply requires more energy to control the bike. More energy means, more recovery time, which means increased risk of crashing, or loss of more time.(Tried this a few times with a fully 29er, as well.. results appeared the same, but haven't been done enough to be conclusive, also the hardtail 29er was compared to a hardtail 26er. that's how I feel I can make that claim without being biased).. In the end.. it resolves down to more work, with a lower risk of success.
  • + 1
 From a mechanics point of view.. I say the 29er hardtail is basically an armorplated cross bike. In fact.. most of the trails I really enjoyed my 29er rides on were actually ridden by a few of my crazier Cross friends. In a burly cross race.. i'd take a 29er any day.. but that's no different that using a TT Bike for Time Trials, a Carbon Fiber Race bike for Race Day, a DJ bike for the kickers, or hey.. a DH bike for DH. 29ers have their place, and good for them. But you don't see a DH bike trying to compete in the Tour de' France, or maybe closer to home.. you don't see a 26' wheel in the Tour because it's just not functional. So far 29er DH bikes have yet to prove themselves functional when compared to a 26er.
  • + 1
 @marlfox, the 'more work' is to let you do the things that a 26 can do, like whip around a corner quickly. I'm never said 29ers take more work or energy. Any energy lost navigating larger obstacles or jumping or whipping or whatever on the big bike is more than re-gained flying over the rest of the trail. As jason745 pointed out, 29ers can, if anything, make you a bit lazy.

All I can say, is that all I ride "rocky, rooty or rutty conditions" (because that's all there is on the East Coast) on a 29er. I'm not a particularly good rider or anything, but I have a blast on my bike.
  • + 2
 what he said Smile
[Reply]
  • + 12
 Give it a few years and we'll be back on penny farthings....
  • + 2
 First the fixed gear fad has to run its course, then they'll come back.
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  • + 8
 There is one thing that wasn´t mentioned here. It is quite hard to find a functional geometry for the 29er fullys with 150 mm and more. Big wheels, low BB height, the same wheelsbase as the 26 inch bikes. That´s a big problem for all the suspension systems. Not all of them can be transformed for the 29 inch wheels with such travel like FR or DH bikes. Thatś why some big players are looking for a new wheel size (Scott, Schwalbe...)... like 27,5 where they can with less problem build a long travel bike.
  • + 8
 Correct me if I'm wrong but it seems they also overlooked the fact that smaller wheels accelerate faster. 26" also require less material for rims/tires, so they should be lighter thus less of a pain to carry around especially for AM. These days it seems like its a race for the lightest bikes no matter the discipline, bigger rims and tires wont help.
  • + 1
 Yeah, that´s right. I am almost sure that the 29er explosion is just a marketing manoevre. It has began hard to sell during the crisis a new bicycle. Small inventions do not help anymore. The only way is to come with a revolution. I don´t know how was it in Canada or the U.S.A. but after the end of communism era every bicycle dealer wanted to convince you, that you need a mountain bike with 26 inch wheels. A 700C trekking bicycle was just for the old mammas. Know the 29ers came and even it is almost the same bike it is much better. Now it is clear that you do not need a long travel 26 inch wheels bike but a new 29er....
  • + 1
 @ PLC07: rotational mass being the biggest issue with the big wheels.
@ tandlis: They can't do slack headangles either since it puts the front wheel so far out.
  • + 1
 @PLC07, the flipside of slower acceleration is slower deceleration, so 29ers also keep their speed better. Theyre sort of like a train...hard to get up to speed, but then once they get going, a cow on the track isn't going to slow them down. Whether that's a good or bad thing I'll leave up to individual riders and trails.
  • + 2
 Is it really noticable though? Does a 10% increase in wheel diameter really changes something? I mean all the seconds count to a pro but if it's only a 1% difference in the end, I don't think it's worth it for the average joe to fork 4k over for a new frame and wheelset. Some of that "anti-deceleration" capabilities will be lost with braking and also makes braking harder I guess. If they prove me that 29ers are better on all points I really don't mind changing to a 29er when the time comes to change my frame but so far their main argument seems to be "it's better". Sugai and other 29er supporters always say it rolls over stuff better but you never hear them talk about the downside of a bigger wheel in actual performances and how it seems to be an engineering nightmare.

As some other people said I'd much rather have them put efforts into eliminating real issues such as rear derailleurs than spend so much time "solving" something that wasn't problematic in the first place.
  • + 2
 @PLC07: 10% increase in wheel diameter means a 31,4% increase in circumferance (Pi and such), or 31.4% increase in weight. Add to that to the fact that rotational mass in a wheel is located at the radius, and that means that the rotational mass increases an additional 10% for the radius increase. So you end up with a ~35% heavier wheel (when moving). That is both negative and positive. Less acceleration, but also more stable at speeds.

Also keep in mind that 29er bikes require less suspension travel to achieve the same effect of a 26" wheel bike, as a lot of the small bumps are smoothed over by the larger diamter.

Its the reduced manouverability that is a big deal of me though. Longer suspension can be compensated for using clever linkages or pedel platforms, but large wheels are difficult to compensate for.
  • + 1
 So the weight of the bigger wheels could be dealt with using shorter travel. Small bump compliance and the acceleration/deceleration factor still remains but the overall bike weight wouldn't change much.

Interesting. I'm 5'6" though, so it doesn't seem like I'll get to try one that fits me well anytime soon haha.
[Reply]
  • + 7
 'better cornering'? There's a claim. Considering that by your own admission BBs are higher and chain stays are longer, as well as the fact the centre of gravity will be unavoidably higher, they probably won't corner better in most circumstances.
Also, bigger wheels means heavier wheels, heavier wheels equals more unsprung mass, which means worse small-bump compliance, which means less grip. That's a very small factor but when a few extra mm of rubber on the floor is being citied to give better traction, I feel it's also worth consideration. XC, yes, some all-mountain bikes, possibly, but DH, no.
  • + 4
 You're correct. They don't corner better, and anyone with a highschool level education in mathematics should be able to figure out why.
  • + 1
 and not just higher BB, longer CSL and heavier wheels, but lateral rigidity takes a hit too, making steering less responsive.
  • + 3
 As far as mountain bike wheel formats go and to make a car analogy out of it...

29ers... They accelerate like an hummer h1, roll over stuff like that hummer, and corner like that hummer.

27.5ers... They accelerate like a jeep wrangler, roll over stuff like that jeep, and corner like that jeep.

26ers... They accelerate like a bowler nemesis, roll over stuff like that bowler and corner like that bowler.

Or put it another way, 27.5 (650B) is the goldielocks of wheelsizes. Not too big, Not too small, just right.

Jamis bikes is pointing that out in a big way, they offer all three wheel sizes. For full suspension cross country, they start at out with a 26er at the lower end price range and then end with a 29er at the top end because 29ers do cost more to begin with, and for pure XC racing they are proving a better choice. Again the trail bike category begins with a 26" size wheel model at the lower end but at the top end its a 650B size model. For trail riding bikes, the size is just better. Now for their AM offerings, its 26ers and that's it.

Now given that 650B mountain bikes only got going about five years ago now when Kirk Pacenti began to offer full knobby tires made for him by Panaracer (the Neo Moto 2.35, basically a variant on the Pana Rampage tread) and velocity started offering rims (Blunts) and now has been adopted by several mid-level brands, four major tire companies (Panaracer, Vee Rubber, Kenda, and Schwalbe), six big name rim/wheel companies (Notubes, American Classic, VelocityUSA, Sun-Ringlé, Alex-Rigida and Weinmann) and at least two fork companies (White Brothers and X-Fusion), its only a matter of time before development starts shifting towards bigger travel and bigger width tires (2.35 is as wide as they come currently).
[Reply]
  • + 6
 BMX bikes use SMALL wheels because they change direction fast. Mountain bikes use 26" wheels because they manover fast & deal with the terrain (with decent suspension). 26" wheels break (especially the rear) most riders are still using Mavic crossmax etc with 2.1 tyres (trail riders). Imagine this lot using lightweight 29" wheels! Heres the final nail....In the midst of financial economic depression why on earth would we want to invest in more sensless technology for the sake of board designers. 26" wheels are great so are the bikes that sit on them, lets therefore concentrate on making this machines give us even more joy rather than going down some daft alley. Its all about the grin factor - 26ers WORK so don;t change the design of the wheel!!!!
  • + 4
 The way a bmx bike handles in the air is a perfect example of what a "small wheel" does for you. Its one of the many reasons motocross bikes dont have bigger wheels. And the reason DH rigs never will.
  • + 5
 IF IT AIN'T BROKE......................
  • + 2
 Dont fix it
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  • + 9
 The Norco guy talks about engineering. The Niner guy is just trying to sell his bikes.
  • + 2
 Makes sense, as the Norco guy is an engineer, whereas the other a "president".
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  • + 6
 You got it all wrong PinkBike in your question and predetermined answers at the bottom.

In 3-5 years, 650b will be the dominate wheel size for MTB.
XC will be 650b and 29"
Trail, AM, DH will be 650b
DJ will stay 26".
UCI killed 4X.
  • + 3
 assuming the world doesn't explode in 2012 . . .
  • + 4
 The Mayans couldn't foresee their own demise, i'm not going to buy their calender...........
  • + 0
 Yep. I was just making an unfounded prediction.
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  • + 5
 Weakning defense of 26ers and more and more MTB authorities (like Lee McCormack) saying positive things after trying 29ers, reminds me of some people who's view of the world is being shattered. They worked for years to develop some attitude and now their shiny ship is sinking and they prefer to stay on it to the very end rather than admit that the new, different one, cruising gently next to them has a high chance to be great as well.

I'm not sure about 29ers with more than 120mm of travel, not sure about 29 full sussers. But a 29 hardtail makes perfect sense. Furthermore 29ers for higher people makes perfect sense as well. After getting eyes familiar with 29ers, a 26" XL+ hardtail looks to me like a 26" M with 24" wheels - really stupid.

After all I'm 99% sure the answer to the question 29 vs 26 is: IT DEPENDS
  • + 8
 So you're saying if i smoke more pot than my buddy i should be riding the 29'er?
  • + 1
 Since you are awesome - YES! it forgives more mistakes I assume
  • + 2
 Can't speak on 29" DH bikes, but 29 full-susser trail bikes are amazing. Although I am pretty high, and rising.
  • + 2
 i smoke more pot than my buddys and ride a 29er!
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  • + 6
 As everything else, this is a matter of taste and personal preference. Having that said, I'd rather trust a guy with a Cancer Bats t-shirt than a guy with a cheap Walmart shirt with its top buttons unbuttoned.
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  • + 5
 THe truth will come out, yes. It's kinda weird, the Niner side of the story sounds like a TV infomercial, wile the Norco/26 side of the story actually details some technical (and true) details from desigining the bikes. And i completely agree, the axle path is a BIG problem with 29''. Chris SUgai said that it's not a problem, since they can go vertical. Well, make a DH bike then and let us see?

The only bike design that i can realistically see working with 29'' wheels is a Zerode.
  • + 5
 I was curious why they pit a President/Co-founder against a engineer/designer. As an engineer myself, I am familiar with the load of crap management types spew out. I would rather hear from an engineer at Niner than the president. The president is obviously going to spew how magical the 29er is and it going to take over the world.
  • + 2
 So you believe that there is a chance that some engineer at Niner bikes might prefer a 26er?

He just sits there draws these big wheels, calculates stress on elements longer than necessary, and gets more and more sour everyday... until the pressure gets unbearable and he commits a triple shotgun murder Big Grin
  • + 2
 I figured an engineer at niner would give more technically reasons for the 29er rather than the marketing slogans from their brochure. Pit an engineer vs an engineer or a president vs president.
  • + 1
 aaa yes that makes sense indeed... but president vs president would be terrible - nobody can repell this much bllsht!
  • + 3
 Waki we put up with that every election season. I avoid it by coming to Pinkbike.
  • + 2
 I might be wrong but I'm not convinced that Sugai actually spent enough time on a DH bike to support his claims.
  • + 2
 I rather get my information from an engineer then then some guy trying to sell his product
  • + 0
 Eee... What difference does it make? You think an engineer would say anything less bullshitty? A bit yes, but still he won't crap into his own soup - he'll add spices gladly. Then a "president" of a small company that the Niner is, knows as much about his designs as his engineers. Both try to sell theor point of view. At the same time why not to believe that Niner guy speaks all that he believes in, not trying to fool anyone? Why an engineer is a person worth trust right away. What are they? Priests of Holy Science?! I work with different ones everyday, these are just people. Probability of being a bullshtr maybe? For presidents, salesmen? Well engineers of all kinds have higher probabilty of being super convinced that their designs/ solutions are right, when they have no monopoly gor not being wrong.Well commercials all over the place do melt brain don't they...
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  • + 5
 I read through most of this, so forgive me If I am about to ask what someone else has already said.
I have 29ers, a rigid ss, a hardtail and a spesh stumpy 29er fsr and I love them. I will not go back to 26 inch for how and what I ride now. But, and it is a big BUT, is there a market that is not being considered right now when we talk about a 29er DH. I like to call it the fat dad market. It is people like myself. I am 35 I have two little girls and I ride when I can, I am by no means a racer or any where near competitive shape. I use to love DH (here is that BUT) but I am not a DH Racer, I am a shuttle whore or a park rider. I go out for shits and giggles, hanging with friends (other fat dads) and just enjoying the day that goes with it. I want to know why companies are not selling 29er park bikes, yes it will be a little heavier then Danny's DH uber bike, don't care if it is fun its going on a chair lift so 35-40lbs is ok with me. A 7 inch park bike could be a cool thing, don't try and sell it as a podium winner, sell it to the fat dads who want to pretend that they could win, then drink a beer and lie about how much air they got on the last run.
P.S Dear Pinkbike if you are going to have an article on the potential of 29er DH sled why on earth would you not include LENZ and his PBJ. He claims it is competition ready, but at least he has actually built the damn thing. I think it is my fat dad bike, If I could convince my wife that clothing, shoes, girl guides and dance is all a waste of money for our children.
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  • + 5
 I have a 26 Stumpy FSR S-Works and I love how quick it gets around and up trails. I rode a Trek Rumblefish 1 and it was a super nice ride but on switchbacks it was tricky and it lagged when dumping on the pedals. As stated by the cat from Norco, the longer travel bikes with 29r wheels move your center of gravity up way too high which detracts from handling.
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  • + 5
 the biggest reason 29ers are catching on is that Specialized made all their dealers jump in to 29ers big time. The other big companies are right there with them pushing them on the shops as well.

It's easier to sell someone a brand new 29er with all kinds of life changing benefits then trying to sell them another 26er that has some differently shaped tubes and an auto-sagging shock.

Plus, if you're a "real" biker you need like 15 bikes and one of them needs to be a 29er

Chris Sugai spending the money to put a 36 page Niner catalog in the middle of MBA seems to have bought him some good press too. MBA was pretty non-commital about 29ers until Niner's ad spend stepped up.... For better or worse, lots of people hang on every word MBA prints.
  • + 3
 "Plus, if you're a "real" biker you need like 15 bikes and one of them needs to be a 29er."

So true
  • + 1
 I agree.. why pick just one when you can them all Smile
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  • + 5
 I dont get it, 29" wheels? Surely yes they would roll better but by that mentallity so would a penny farthing, We dont just go straight down hills anymore and our wheels dont just stay on the ground all the time. Seems like a stupid argument to me.
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  • + 6
 Whether it's 26" or 29", it doesn't matter. Ride on whatever size of wheel you want, because that's what the sport is about... Freedom to do whatever the hell you want!!
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  • + 5
 Sometimes I get excited about getting 29er trailbike (like the Satori or Bandit) - then I go ride my 5" travel 26" (Orange Five) on a super tight, technical trail and forget all about it. Maybe someday.....
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  • + 7
 what about 650B? 29" wheels "definitely" replacing 26" as the standard. Puh-leez.
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  • + 6
 I disagree. I believe its a matter of personal preference. Some will go with the bigger 29 inch wheels others will stick to 26 inch.
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  • + 4
 I do get the point in the fact that 29inch wheels ride better over bumps but if ur after a smoother ride why dont we just all take up road riding? There's no point in it.

In my opinion replacing 26inch wheels with 29s in DH would take all the fun and bumps out of it making it a lot easier, and wheres the fun in that? It will no longer be a sport that sorts the men from the boys.
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  • + 4
 WOW WOW WOW ! every1 is forgetting one key thing in this debate ! 24'S ARE the way forward ! not 29er nt 26 but 24's ! ! seriously tho pinkbike editor who cares what wheel size you ride what wheel size is 'better' i dnt care if its better on paper if it aint as fun and isnt for you as a person IT ISNT FOR YOU ! keep it real. keep it 24's
  • + 2
 I can't tell if you're being sarcastic or not, but anyway I have to agree. Sure, not for everything, but I keep finding that whenever I put a 24" rear wheel on a bike I instantly like it better, as long as it doesn't screw up the geometry too bad. One of my bikes has sort of weird too steep/high geo, and with the 24 it's perfect. And on certain ridiculously twisty courses, it's the perfect recipe, making mincemeat out of all the hairpins and switchbacks and just feeling more nimble and easy to handle. Is it rolling faster? No. Does it have as much traction? Probably not. But I sure like it better.
  • + 1
 was thinking the same thing ..came all the way down here to find the first 24" comment :L
..24" should make a come back i think ..cant remember what DH bike it was.. specialized i think.. but I'm pretty sure it came with 24s it was awesome anyway!
as soon as i ride a bike with 24s it instantly comes alive and the whole bike becomes so agile and fast.
  • + 1
 i mean look at josh bender ...look at the shit he did on a 24"
  • + 1
 Right, Specialized Bighit. But way earlier was the Kuwahara Jaguar. I remember really wanting one of those when I was 14. And Mongoose, too - Johnny T started mountain bike racing on a converted 24" BMX. Personally, I'm really lousy at pulling up the front wheel, and when I'm on a 29 inch bike the front end might as well be nailed to the ground. With a 24 in back I'm manualing off everything.
  • + 1
 lol no dude i wasnt being sarcastic rubbish at typing i run 24's in everything dude just so much fun ! ! ive rode 29er the wheels are disgusting how anyway can say the "corner better" is not kool they flex like mad ! although so people may like this im nt disputing this but nothing is goin to corner than a racebmx with 20" wheels surely ? and JAMMERS91 YOU LEGEND bender was the original 24" hero hope hes still keeping it reall (Y)
  • + 1
 Its all about 20s
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  • + 4
 I think a lot of riders would benefit from going moto-style with a 650b up front and a 26" rear wheel...just as maneuverable, a little slackers, better roll over and tire contact area. Most people don't even notice till it is pointed out to them.

I did a 2 hour demo on a Giant Anthem 29er and it didn't do it for me. I ride a Blur LT2 w/ 650b front and rear and it is the awesome, though I admit most of the advantage of the 650b comes from the front wheel...

Not sure 650b will ever take over, or have a huge market share, but I don't care...it works for me.
  • + 1
 I would love to try this!
  • + 1
 Seems like bikes designed around this would be great, but just swapping the fork and front wheel seems like the same problem as up your travel. Geometry
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  • + 4
 Sugai says that the 29er will have lower rolling resistance 'in every case'. Sorry sir but you just lost the argument by spouting generalisations that don't hold. He himself says that the 29er has a larger tyre contact patch, and he lists it as an advantage, that very same larger contact patch will add rolling resistance, so on a section of track where it's smooth, the 29er will drag more. Not to mention if you hit some wet mud that sucks the tyre down, it'll have a higher break-away force rolling out of it and it'll be even worse than it would on hardpack!
  • + 1
 Rolling resistance isn't merely a measurement of the static friction between two surfaces, it also takes into account what you are rolling over and how much resistance to that occurs. Bigger diameter tires approach things that might cause extra resistance at a shallower approach angle, and so they have an easier time of actually rolling over them. 26er riders often discover this for the first time on a 29er when going over a rock garden or a section with a lot of exposed tree roots. Instead of pinballing all over fighting to maintain direction on the 26" bike (even one with lots of wheel travel), you're flowing pretty straight over them on the 29er.
  • + 1
 Read my comment properly next time, and don't argue with me on a point I didn't make.
  • + 2
 Yes, I read it properly. It reads like the opinion of someone who hasn't actually spent real riding time on a 29er tire. When you hit wet mud on a bike with a tire with a larger footprint (and that's one of 29er advantages) it doesn't suck you down... you float across the top of it better. Its for this reason why 29ers have overall better traction regardless of trail conditions. Its also why for many lighter riders, a 29er makes a great winter snow bike as it'll float on snow better than anything but a dedicated FAT bike.
  • + 0
 I would rather ride a 26" with 2.4 tires than a 29er with 2.2 tires in the snow. It's more fun, and the traction and weight are about the same assuming you use the same type of tire. it's important to be able to put a foot out and lay the bike over easily in the snow, and 26ers are better for laying it down and more fun. Also more fun for jumping, more maneuverable in the air.
  • + 0
 deeeight, for starters I was questioning Sugai's assertion that it's better in ALL cases. It's not, this much is clear. I understand the benefits of a larger diameter wheel and the incident angle being reduced etc. I said on a smooth section of track, a 29in wheel with it's larger tyre contact patch will roll slower, this is again pretty obvious, all other things being equal.

My point about wet mud is also correct, now obvious 'mud' is quite vague, but you'll see I specified mud that sucks you down, like the type we often see in the UK. If the mud has a tendancy to pull at the tyre, it's due to a low pressure on the rear side of the contact patch, as the tyre attempts to pull away from the mud as it rolls through it. If the contact patch of the tyre is larger (and it is) and all other things are equal, the force required to roll the tyre through the mud will be greater.

No, I haven't spent any time on a 29er, and I'm not saying I shouldn't, or that no-one should. All I'm saying is the man on the left was being biased towards a standard he's clearly advocating, and he wasn't being entirely truthful, objective, and factual. Whether or not the Norco engineer was, I don't know for certain, but I didn't spot anything that was so glaringly spun in his responses.

With that, I'm done on this discussion, whether you want to reply or not.
  • + 2
 Wo my heads hurts- reading that discussion reminded me of sitting in a Physics class... I am half impressed you guys know this shit- and I'm also half relieved that I don't- I can use that space in my brain for other information!!!! I like my 24s as i can throw my bike around in the air and enjoy the freedom. It's not all rolling resistance and angles on incidence- it should be about fun - if it was all about speed MTX would be running bigger wheels. This is just some bullshit way to get us to spend our money. DON'T FALL FOR IT!!!
  • + 1
 gavlaa speaks golden truths ! (Y)
  • + 0
 Deelight: You're over simplifing things. You also make it seem as though having not spent any time on a 29" wheel'd bike means we all can't understand physics... Well, I HAVE spent time on them and I DO understand physics too. here's the thing, a 29" wheel is always touted as having a greatly "increased contact patch" that right there is rolling resistance. As a whole, there is more "unsprung weight" to a 29 as well as more mass so thatr there increases rolling resistance.... In fact aside from when the wheel incounters an obstacle (be it mud or rocks, they still function the same) the 29 will have greater rolling resistance then the 26 of the same tire tread width. Alot of what the 29" guys call better rolling resistance, esp. on a buff'd trail, is actually a function of the tire being NARROWER, not the taller wheel. I'm a very avid 4wd (Toyota FTW) enthusiasts and this is a common issue that comes up when increasing your wheel/tire combo's diameter. I run 33" tall tires and I can tell you there is LOTS more rolling resistance and issues acce;lerating that added mass. I mitigated this by running NARROW tires (for lots of reasons, not just the rolling resistance) YES, when you hit a bump the larger diameter has a higher axle center so it has a decreased angle of approach/incident over said object and it there fore rolls over it easier... They're smoother, but they've only made my truck faster when it's ripping through rough terrain. on the road/smooth trails they're slower. Same for a 29. When 29" Tire tachnology/selection becomes greater to the pount of HAVING 2.5" tires on 29" rims I think we'll see a more fair comparrison between the two...
  • + 1
 ... I'm in NO way AGAINST the use/promoting of 29" wheels/bikes, but this whole "they're so much better in every way" thing is marketing hype and sour grapes by riders who have discovered that they are in fact NOT better in every way and actually WORSE in some ways. A 29" bike has it's place like an AM/XC/Trail?DH/FR/DJ bike has a place... they're just not the SAME PLACE. Once people get past this "29 or nothing" mentality this will be a non-issue. Would you take you XC race bike down A-line? Not if you want to have fun and it's the same with a 29'r... If you want to enjoy yourself you'll leave it at home when it comes time to ride DH tracks, big stunts and fast tight (up, down and espescialy tight CORNERS)... However taking a 29'r to an XC race or a nice open trail network with bermed corners and rough surface will be GERAT on a 29'r like the WFO or Transition Bandit. Whew!!!!
  • + 0
 explain how a larger contact patch causes more rolling resistance please.
  • + 0
 ... Seriously??? More contact patch = greater friction plain and simple. GO put some 2.5" tires on a HT, roll down the street on a slight hill then do the exact same thing on the exact same bike with a set of 2.0" tires... Greater surface area = more friction. Go look at a Toyota Prius or any of those "hyper-mile'r" vehicle and you'll see extremely skinny tires because the lower size of the contact patch has less rolling resistance and yields better milage.
  • + 0
 More contact patch = greater friction plain and simple seriously??????????????????? I don't remember this physics equation. try agian.
  • + 0
 ... I give up, you will simply never understand then. I'm not talking about PSI either, but there's something ELSE you won't get
  • + 1
 (coefficient of friction)(normal force)= friction. I'm sure thats what you meant. Funny, I don't see area in there anywhere.
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  • + 3
 i know i won't be riding a 29" long travel bike since i'm 5'8", i look small even on a 26". now peaty who's a f*cking yeti (look at brosnan riding than look at peaty riding) could profit from a bigger wheel since the bike wouldn't become too big for him but even 26" looks a bit big for brosnan.
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  • + 3
 in my mind this is a similar debate to when most of us where running 24s for dh, or at least 24 rear 26 front. simply we considered the wheel to be stronger more maneuverability. We were even producing framesets with specific 24 inch rear chain stay length, remember the old big hits, or even the first gen wilsons with a 24" wheel drop out? well similar to this i think its just a matter of time to replace the 26, they can produce a rim pretty dam light these days so i dont think sluggish feel will be a factor. We've also had many different views on chainstay length, trend seems to be if its for dj or street you want your chainstay slammed tight, if its dh on the other hand we've got manufacturers that will pump them out long or short can't agree its very refined. In my opinion i think 29 only makes sense specially if we produce rims and tires that have reasonable weight characteristics. it simply just means your going to go a hell of a lot faster and be able to rip over rock gardens at mach 9, seriously image a huge dude like steve peat on a 29er, he wouldn't be gettin any slower thats for sure.
  • + 2
 29ers might be faster going down a straight rock garden, but if you factor in all the turns, jumps, and pumps on the rest of a DH course, the low center of gravity, agility, and maneuverability of a 26 is going to be faster overall on a proper DH track.
  • + 0
 xc riders and all mountain riders dont seem to have any of those issues, i think you need to keep an open mind and maybe think about the true effects of 29, we can still attain a low center of gravity, we can still produce extremely light wheelsets so maneuverability may not be such a drastic issue as you believe it will be. it only makes sense, big tires roll over big things better, they have a larger footprint on the surface they run on so you will gain better traction for then slick turns, it only makes sense. thats just the way the industry is going and im very excited for it. big wheels mainly mean one thing, GOING WAY FASTER!
  • + 1
 btw have a look at the 2951 dirt.mpora.com/news/intense-2951.html the bb height has only been increase by 1/4 of an inch and the chainstay has been increased by .88" wich is very minimal considering your rocking a 29 inch wheel in their. also the wheelbase when comparing to a larger regular 951 is only a difference of 0.5 "
  • + 0
 Why do people keep repeating the center of gravity myth? The center of gravity is based on where the BB ends up and that's almost as low as possible so the pedals don't smack the ground at full wheel travel. Unlike with 26ers where the BB heights are growing almost level or at best, an inch below the axle positions... 29ers which still run less travel than 26ers don't have excessively high BB shells.
  • + 1
 As someone already mentioned on here, DH racing isn't just about rolling over things, its more about jumping and pumping to gain speed, at least at the highest level. Maintaining speed in the corners is crucial in DH racing, and the longer wheelbase that would be required on a 29" DH bike would never be as fast. The bigger and heavier wheels do create a higher overall center of gravity, regardless of BB height. This makes it slower to flip the bike back and fourth, so its slower through the turns. The advantages don't outweigh the disadvantages when applied to DH racing.
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  • + 3
 yay, i get to sound off a touch. so here it is. i've ridden both 26 and 29 inch wheeled bikes. and yes, hatorade drinkers, have done my very best to ride both the same way, in the same conditions, with the same clothes and items in my pack, same tire tread, and the same sport enhancement drink in my bottle. 26 is better, period. 29ers are for people that want to be a better rider without having to work at it or add some size to their man parts. that's all it is, it's cheating. so is putting nothing but carbon fiber parts on you bike, or wearing lycra around small children at a family enduro race. trying to get a head over the next guy so you can say you shaved a full 3 seconds off your fastest lap. if you want to get better and stronger, go to the gym, drink less beer, practice cornering, climb in a harder gear, put rocks in your backback. stop spending a tonne if money for the opportunity to tell your buddy that you are better than him. that makes you an asshole, and nobody likes an asshole. keep it up and you can ride your full carbon 29er wearing your wind tunneled lycra all by your onesie, cuz nobody wants to ride with ya. congrats, you just bought yourself no friends. man i feel better! bring on the trolls!!! hulkamania rules!!!!!!!!!!! 26 for life.
  • + 2
 Lycra onesies were ok for Andre!
  • + 1
 these lycra onesies........where can i get one!!!!
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  • + 3
 Why do motocross bikes use 21 inch front and 18 inch rear?
Why do street race motorcycles use 17 inch front and rear?
If you think there's no connection, think about suspension technology, hydraulic brakes, wide bars, short stems and Arron Gwin!
To be fair if a 29er wins Megavalanche and a 29er wins a pro DH event then I'll rethink and eat my boxers.
  • + 6
 Motocross bikes use larger front rims and smaller tires to keep the outer diameter of the front and rear wheels the same. This makes the bike turn-in and handle consistently. Motos need a larger rear tire to handle the horsepower (something that DH riders really don't have to worry about). The traction requirements up front are much less, and lofting the front end also requires a lighter wheel. Road racing motos use smaller rims because they require much larger tires - and front braking traction is as important as the need for acceleration and cornering stick. The overall wheel size is restricted because the diameter of the road racer's front wheel is determined by the bike's need to move the engine as far forward as possible to get the CG correct for drifting and cornering at speed. The message is that the designer's wheel choice is often dictated by other issues, not the optimum wheel diameter. And that altering the wheel diameter will require bike designers to alter the bike's metrics - 26er and 29er DH bikes can't share the same geometry to execute the same tasks. If a competitive 29er DH bike emerges, it should be an 'interesting' looking design.
RC
  • + 1
 Of course motorcycles have wider tires on the back to handle the power, but that absolutely is not relevant to the diameter. Even the biggest road motos rim plus tires are still only coming out to the smaller total diameter as a 24 inch mountain bike rim plus tire. The 21 inch front wheel found on dirt bikes is still in total less than the total diameter of a mountain bike 26 inch rim and tire. Motorcycles can have bigger wheels, alter the frame, easy. In fact Motogp use 17.5 inch, not 18, not 16, because this works best and is quickest for this application. Much more likely it's about unsprung weight and lack of maneuverability. If motorcycles teach us something here it's that we've already gone big enough with 26 inch rims and more than likely for anything other than XC/trail they are a probably dead end.

On another part of this topic entirely. I ride very rough terrain with sharp rocks and thorns. Practically the only tires that can take this abuse are Maxxis Minions. Which weigh a hefty 850g each. I dread to think how much a 29er version would weigh, maybe just too much unsprung weight for me.
  • + 1
 1. a MX 21" rim is 21" in diameter, a MTB26" rim is 22.5" in diameter (the 26" name comes from the total diameter WITH tire). A 24" rim comes out at 20.5"
SO what is important is overall wheel diameter (rim plus tire). Now you can get the same diameter with different combinations eg the old Nokian 24x3.0 tire came out at 26.6" which is about the same as a 26x2.0.
Modern dh wheels are around 27-27.5" and modern MX bike wheels are 26.5-28" (rear wheels still a tad smaller).
Now the 29" wheel is bigger than BOTH! Sure MX experimented with the 23" rim back in the day but that didnt last long.
Time will tell what happens in MTB.

2. Current MotoGP bikes use 16.5" rims. 500cc back in 1999 they were on 17.5 then went down to 17 in 2000s then 16.5 and even went down to 16" at one point even on the front!
  • + 1
 Well stated RichardCunningham. I think maybe even the greater message is that we should accept various wheel sizes in this sport. I don't think there needs to be or should be a "standard" for wheel size in mtb. Different styles of bicycles are built to get the job done in their respective discipline. We should embrace that.
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  • + 3
 It would have been a better argument for Niner if they had come to the plate with a prototype DH bike, or at least a rendering/design so we can all check out angles and lengths. If there are no design problems that a 29" wheel would create then show us your plan for an 8" DH bike. Put your money where your mouth is Niner.

Otherwise, leave the DH boys with their 26" wheels and give AM riders the choice. I for one much prefer the speed, strength and maneuverability of a regular sized wheel on my AM and previous DH bikes
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  • + 3
 "With the larger, 29-inch wheels, it is extremely difficult to get the rear centre (chainstay) length as short as we desire to give modern ride handling characteristics."

Why I'm sticking with 26. End of story for me. If it's one aspect of my riding that needs addressing, it's technical switchbacks. You can't fight simple math. You just can't.
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  • + 3
 u guize battlefield 3 pwns modern warfare 3

yeah, this isn't a very good approach to this non-issue. about 10% of these comments have been totally on-point, the rest are just the same old loyalties.

Pinkbike, this sort of discussion needs to happen in a roundtable discussion with the pertinent parties able to point-counterpoint to get real perspective. just sending out a for email and waiting for a response is prone to the sorts of answers Sugai gives (it's marketing). get 2-3 people in a room and post what happens (just delete the expletives)

FTR i own an Air 9 Carbon and a RIP 9 (as well as a 26" XC and a Pugsley) and my personal bias towards XC and trail is 29. my bias is 26" for DH/AM. i'm open to change, though.
  • + 3
 2 men enter; 1 man leaves. It can be like THUNDERDOME and the winner takes all!
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  • + 3
 I'm no expert on the 26" VS 29" debate but to draw a parallel with skiing it reminds me of when parabolic skis were first introduced 15-20 years ago. At first they looked at as a bit of a curiosity, these days nobody would even think of going back to straight skis, simply because the possibilities offered by parabolic skis for carving and extreme body angle and high speed turns are so much better... So if 29ers are so much better than 26ers then they'll probably just naturally replace them over time....
  • + 1
 This comparison would be more accurate they were saying 26" should replace 29".
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  • + 6
 This line is genius, "[29er] Once passed off as the circular battle flag of splinter-group recalcitrant XC hardtail hippies"
  • + 1
 sounds abit like me that does!
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  • + 3
 Ha! Everyone's an expert... Richard, I feel like you should bring Devin Lenz and Jeff Steber into this conversation. Those are the guys that are putting their money where Chris Sugai's mouth is.
  • + 1
 This! I asked that same question, why not talk about Lenz's PBJ.
  • + 2
 Good point. I know both of those guys too. I think that you'll see those names in a future PB test. Seems logical to test the first adopters. Whistler? Should be fun.
RC
  • + 1
 That would be great, Richard. Certainly, no one has done this in the public arena yet. I hope they're willing to put them out there for evaluation. Jose Gonzalez has got a big 'ol test mule up in your neck of the woods, as well.
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  • + 2
 I have been using xc 29" and some prototype 29" downhill version but they too hard using when you riding steep track as wheel get taller, the frame did't flow with it. Also I think the 29" wheel fitting the frame as frame got be low center so the BB cup migth too close ground and hard to change the long travel as wheel reach taller than 26". I find 29" is great for xc or long climb but wheel base still not great for other type of track such as brem or jump. that what I think of, I don't mind they carry on trying change around with 29" I would like try again!
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  • + 2
 I have had many 29ers in the last 3 years. They are great for trail/single track riding but when it comes to very technical trails with lots of sharp turns, drops and fast downhill sections, the 26" bike is far better. I think if they enter the DH market the only people who will buy them are folks that are not planning to be very technical riders or those who are coming from a XC background.
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  • + 2
 Yea guys! What about 650B??
The perfect middle ground for both wheelsizes. I say leave 26" for DH and DJ categories and try 27.5 for XC & AM, and 29ers for full XC.

Ride them all first before you post an opinion, get the facts straight. Nothing wrong with having multipole wheel sizes, as long as they are being used correctly. Nobody should tell you that there is only one option for everything. Gee NINER, what a surprise you believe only in 29ers for everything, what would your name be if you didn't....SIXER?
Notice that 26er guys are open to some options but hardcore 29er guys think it's the answer to everything. Despite poor geometry, inadequate frame sizing for smaller riders, poor front derailleur clearance, limited suspension designs, limited tire width, and a complete mistake for terrain that limits your momentum, there are so many people still trying to convince the rest that it's perfect.....REALLY?
  • + 1
 I agree....love my 650b AM bike.
  • + 1
 I own two 650B bikes
- a Haro Beasley hardtail
- an Eclipse Hero Carbon Full Suspension
I own two 29er bikes
- A Salsa Dos Niner Softtail
- a GT Peace 9R multi full rigid
And everything else is 26ers (and I have many of them). I had been thinking from now on it was going to be nothing but 650B builds but since I wanted a fat tire winter bike... I'm in the process of doing a Salsa Mukluk and that's technically a 26er (albeit with tires that when inflated measure 29 inches in diameter).

I ride pretty much only XC but the technical aspect of the trails changes quite a bit in the area I live in, and while I enjoy the Dos Niner for the fast open flowy singletrack/doubletrack stuff, for anything I need to steer quicker I'd rather use the 650B bikes. I don't use the GT 9r at all myself (while it was my first 29er, its now simply kept to use as a loaner bike) anymore, and I've hardly ridden any of my 26er bikes this year.
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  • + 2
 The majority of the bike scene in western Pennsylvania is now 29er. Sometimes it gets frustrating when dogmatic people are convinced that one wheel size is bets for all riding styles and heights of riders on all types of terrain. It seems obvious that different people, different styles, and different terrain will be better suited to different bicycles.
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  • + 2
 One of the best developments in bike design over the past few years has been the de-coupling of racing efficiency and what we're all supposed to like in our bikes. It's made our lives so much better! We have choices now, whereas in the old days (the 90's, I suppose I mean) the only choice we had to give for a customer who wanted a 'nice' mountain bike was an XC racing hardtail. Now we have a huge array to pick from, and sure, it gets to be splitting hairs sometimes (trail vs Marathon, etc.), in general I can't help thinking it's positive to have more options available. Wheel size is part of this, and unless you're a parts manager trying to keep tires in stock, it's better for your life to have more choices. Tall people can really benefit from bigger wheels and smaller people can benefit from smaller wheels. People who never have to slow down will continue to love 29'ers, just as people who trials over everything will continue to love 24's. The only crappy thing that could happen is if the old sizes that make sense start to become unavailable - try telling Danny MacAskill he has to start using 29 inch wheels! 26 has been in such common use for so long that it's hard to predict it will go away, since it works so well for most people, but it would sure suck if it did. In other words, 26 vs 29 - they're BOTH better. Just stop trying to convince everyone they don't like what they like.
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  • + 2
 Tried a few 29ers, they make sense for lots of stuff. But not for my usual stop/start, slow, techy trails where maneuverability counts most. And to get a wheel to be the same strength it a 29er has to be heavier, which is a non starter for me.
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  • + 2
 There is an answer to this debate- 650B! you have all of the advantages of the 29er with none of the pitfalls, ie chianstay length, seat tube angle, or bottom bracket hieght. They are just as fast as the 29er's as well. Do some reasearch on this past xc racing season ( Team Jamis and Team KHS ) you will find that the 650B size is smoking both the 26er and the 29er. I have seen some prototypes around this past year and things are on the horizon.
  • + 1
 I ride a 650b 150 travel AM bike and I love it.
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  • + 2
 I'm a short ass and tried a 29r a few years ago and felt like I was sitting in the bike (14" frame) rather than on it. So I won't be jumping on one anytime soon! I guess if you are tall it might be a good thing. I find even a 26" bike big for me for DH, probably why I ride DH on a 24" hardtail. I can't see it catching on for DH. Can you imagine Danny Hart whipping a 29r lol!
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  • + 2
 I am 5'7" and i cant find one that fits. I guess theres reasons why companies like gt and marin dont make anything smaller than a medium. 650b makes way more sense for the all mountain bike but why when the 26 is working just fine. By the way the wheel flex on a 29er sucks for sure. Any body every pivot out of a 180 on a 29er. BOGUS.
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  • + 2
 Dual 24" wheels is the way to go!
However I would love to see a 200mm travel fork for a 29" wheel. I could then use it on a frame made for a 26" bike and finally get the height in the front that I crave for and can no longer achieve with the forks of today (would use a 26" wheel obviously on the front and not a 29")
  • + 1
 i honestly don't see why more people don't use 24" ..there fast nimble and an indestructible size of wheel ..it would be like a park bike with 200mm's it would go like hell! ..and air over everything :L
  • + 1
 i mean look at josh bender ...look at the shit he did on a 24"
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  • + 2
 Was just having this exact debate with a modular synthesis designer/builder who rides his Specialized Rockhopper into university everyday. I've been riding bikes for a long time now and tried a lot of things, but not everything, including 29ers. I think they'll show up more and more, especially in all-mountain and XC, though I have the feeling DH riders will prefer the nimbler 26s, for the tight turns and snappy manoeuvres. I hear that 29ers are good for flat out speed and rolling over obstacles but a little down on the acceleration for obvious physics related issues, but nothing the legs can't get used to right? I stand by 26 though!
  • + 1
 In addition to acceleration, a 26" wheel will be able to change direction (lean to lean) quicker than a 29" wheel, due to simple physics and geometry (less distance traveled to obtain the same lean angles). Add to that a shorter wheelbase (due to design constraints), lower C-of-G, and lower BB and axel hights and you're talking significant margins on technical tracks with multiple corners. DH being a sport where fractions have seperated placements and not one 29" bike racing should give an answer to the debate.


Sure, they do better on UCI's mellow XC courses, and would probably fair better on something like the Mammoth courses from the 90's. But in this day and age with the current style of DH course, it's clear what will evolve as being the better of the two.
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  • + 2
 Not really a "debate"....just more of personal preference. In my opinion 29ers fit taller riders much better. When you start getting up into XL and XXL frames without changing the wheel size, the longer travel bikes are way out of proportion. Being a taller rider I have to say that the WFO was the first bike I ever owned that truly felt like it fit me....trying to ride a "large" DH 26" bike made me feel like I was in the circus. Just ride whatever is comfortable and reliable.
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  • + 2
 At the moment 29er cost more to make to the same strength as a 26er, also there is a parts shortage of 29er bits in general, lead times are longer, plus the mass market end (500 dollar a bike) of the spectrum is not 29er yet and to get a quality light bike in that price range is not possible yet. Also all the component manufactures have to re tool there systems to make bigger wheels and rims etc, those machines cost money, so they wont replace them all in one go, it will take a few years, then there will be a marketing drive to sell more bikes to recoup the costs.

Generally though a 29 inch bike looks less good.... and looks sell, In bike psychology the big wheel is associated with your grandma's shopping bike or your road racing bike, it always will be. the 29 will always look a bit rough next to a 26. 29 tyres also look horrible, like road tyres, the treads might not need to be as big as 26er tyres but they still look horrible. When did you see a motocross rider with smoother looking tyres? and think wow that looks cool. ( ok unless its supermoto, but thats on tarmac!)

They are selling a lot of 29er bikes.60% vs 40% in some shops, The real point is when we can all have electric bikes that are just as light as normal bikes and allow us to be lazier uphill and get fatter. All technology evolves to make our life easier, however I choose to walk uphill with skins on my skis, not take the lift. (Because I like it) . So at the end of the day the 29er just brings another choice to market, when I originally rode in the 90's the only gear options was shimano now there is SRAM everywhere, whats SRAM>>> i've never heard of it.....I was out for 13 years.... now its one of the most recognised brands. It's all business my friends, and it makes jobs and money for people, which is good.

29er is just really more choice, Surfing, Kitesurfing, Motobike riding, all of these sports go through these marketing changes and equipment developments, MTB is next.
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  • + 2
 My god Cunningham, couldn't you have left this stupid debate with that rediculous rag you left? Seriously, how many 26'er vs. 29'er 'Shoot Outs' have you got hiding under your wings and what good have any of them done other than fill space where you couldn't think up or cover anything more pertinant? To be honest though, I'm surprised it took you this long to publish this crap with your new employer.
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  • + 2
 I feel that a bike with 6.5 in. travel with a 29 front wheel and a 26 rear wheel would be ideal for AM. 2 X 9 gears. This will allow for easiest pedalling. Or will it? The front end will roll better? but will it impeded maneuverability - I dont know but I think it may help. Gotta really try it to feel it.
  • + 1
 I had a Trek 69er single speed that was set up that way and it was pretty sweet. Accelerated great, better than my 5" all mountain bike, and the 29" front wheel really rolls over stuff a lot better than a 26". If they can get a front fork with 7" of travel, this would be a winning setup. A 31mm rim with 36 spokes would be very stiff and put down a lot of contact. I'm sure it would corner better than a 26" front, but might be limited for north shore stunts at slow speed. If Maxxis releases a 29" 2.5 Minion, you'll know why.
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  • + 2
 I have been riding a RIP 9 and lately my WFO 9 in all mountain conditions for over 3 years. I love the 29er because its more stable and I don't miss the agility. A lot has to do with your riding style and moreover capabilities of handling the terrain. I see an enormous difference between bikes build and style, even if we talk all mountain AM 26ers only. The addition of 29ers will give customers even more choice and I believe that is a good thing. In the end those manufactures that build bikes that create the biggest smile will be the winners......for me that is Niner WFO 9 for AM riding and a Santa Cruz Driver 8 for DH riding.
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  • + 2
 I read a thread on another forum where the 29er fan who started the thread posted a pic of a world cup xc pro riding a piddling little drop on a 29er bike at champerey. He/she was quite excited that xc courses at world cup level had 'proper' drops like this and emphasised the fact that the rider was on a 29 inch wheeled bike. Why? if 29er's are any kind of improvement over 26 inch wheeled bike then surely they must make riding drops n jumps easier, no? I think a lot of people who are going to buy 29er's it'll suit them to have a bike that they can say "i didn't hit that gap/drop cos it's not really what this type of bike is for"
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  • + 6
 NEVER 29!!! 26" Is the best and always will be!!!
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  • + 2
 Does the UCI allow the use of 29" wheels for their DH events? I was thinking they only allow 26" wheels or below, should they allow the use of them? I canimagine Fort Bill on a 29er would make sense as it's a fast rolling course, would stick to the 26" for Champery though as it's so tight.
I do remember at the Masters Worlds in Sun Peaks, Canada where some dude had a 29" carbon home made bike with skinny tyres, that was a few years back though!
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  • + 3
 if you want a smoother ride, then instead of buying 29" wheels buy super monster T forks and be happy.

it will give you smoother ride, and it wont add any weight compared to the 29" wheels
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  • + 1
 Should be entirely up to the rider, like a direct mount stem or normal stem. if fork manufactures made the bridge on forks taller to accomodate and frames were made to accomodate 29ers aswell as 26" then people could ride as they please. to be fair though why do you need 29 on a DH bike, its not like triple clamps cant take it. might as well just stick to 26" and the money saved on development of forks to accomodate 29" wheels can be put into making a more advanced fork thus elliminating the need for the bigger wheel in the first place.
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  • + 1
 i am far more inclined to believe Owen's opinion as being more objective than Sugai. Sugai is clearly biased, being that his livelihood depends on perpetuation of this 29r FAD. i can see 29rs for trail riding/XC and thats it. enduros and dh are the exclusive realm of 26ers due to the reasons Owen stated.

seems like 29er believers are typically either 1) lame hipsters or 2) road racers that mountain bike.
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  • + 1
 It seems that just another way to sell more bikes.

Really if we want to go faster DH we should ride on road bikes on Tarmac roads in the mountains. Hmmmm isnt that road riding?

I thought as Mtbers we like rough terrain and bouncing around, suspension is for control, but we all like to see our suspension move more and in control not less. Why dont we sweep and polish the DH courses so that all the riders go faster?

Really it is about bike classes. You dont see an mtb rider competing in a bmx competition with a MTB bike. It is a different class. A simple rule change from the competition authorities saying that to enter you must use a 26 inch bike. Then the 29" has its own class. Then all arguements are closed, its like super bike verses MotoGP, both are fast but they are different classes of bike, and you need to be damm good to ride them.
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  • + 1
 The other thing that just got me re-reading it. He talks like a pure and simple XC/Trail bike guy... not a DH/FR guy. The way he matter of factly says "we can make bikes with long travel..." and then they try to sell you the 5.5" as such. Just reminds me of the early days when you'd go into a shop and no-one was really carrying DH/FR bikes/gear outside of Western Canada and a few shops here in the NW. You'd go in and get a run down from an XC racer on what the "deal" was with these "beastly bikes"... Sugai just seems to think he's solved the LT 29" problem cause that's what HE considers an LT bike. Owen Pemberton OTOH just seems to have an acurate, RELEVANT answer to the questions. Maybe Sugai wouldn't have souded like such a total choad if he wasn't being out side by side to a stand up and articulate guy like Owen.
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  • + 1
 I really hope that companies do not do away with the 26 inch wheel all together that would really be a huge mistake I feel. There will always be someof us out there that just dont like the feel of a 29 inch wheel, and yes I would be one of them, and yes I have ridden them, and Im sorry but they are just definatley not for me!!!!!!
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  • + 2
 DH will always be 26er. if you have ever rode a world cup dh course you will know 29er will never work. that is why some even use 24 inch wheels in rear for those super tight courses. XC-29er AM-29er FR-26er DJ-26er DH-26er
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  • + 1
 reading some of these for a sec was kinda funny. i didnt vote for either though. I have tried several different types before, nothing special by any means for model of it. they do ride ok, but i still prefer the way my bike feels. but the people who owned the ones i rode around on for a little bit were doing the same things i was, up or down the mountain and trails. so whatever the person riding is comfortable with is what there gonna ride.
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  • + 1
 they should make 29er rodie bikes and see how that works out and me my thoughts no the 26 wont be repacted cause short ppl like me need and like a 26ers...rode a 29er dont like it at all to me no point why bigger i dont think there that much funn cause you know its wayy bigger amd that means way more shady to me
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  • + 2
 I'd give a 29r a chance in the NW Cup DH ......but I want component factory support! Rims would be my biggest concern, then tires, then suspension........Now for a Super D- no sweat- 29'rs are taking over that class.
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  • + 1
 29" wheel front and 650b wheel rear is probably what's gonna be one of the big "fads" in the next 5 years, along with alternate drivetrains.

Who knows, maybe in 10 years we'll probably gonna see some weird asymetrical designs, such as single sided swingarms, high pivots, interconnected/non-independent suspension, and maybe the return of the linkage fork. Bike industry is running out of interesting things to market They can only work on tweaking the head tube, BB, and other oversized diameter tubing improvement so much. Maybe see a rise in forged parts to replace the fad in CNC anodized stuff too.
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  • + 1
 Hey !! how about we put a 70" inch wheel at the front and a 20" inch wheel at the back and call it a penny farthing !!........oh wait that's already been done .........29er's are a way of trying to inject cash and interest into the cycling industry. To me they look ugly, I am happy with the performance of 26" inch wheels and they look cool, I honestly want to laugh when I see somebody riding a 29er !
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  • + 1
 I have owned both and the difference is similar to that of a longboard vs. a shortboard in surfing. Longboards are fun and you can cruise pretty fast but when it comes to turning and technical situations they are no good. When you want so shred, you get the shorter board. Maybe not that strong of an analogy but the point is that there is still a market for 29ers, I just don't see them ever becoming the new standard. 29er retailers also need to realize where their battlegrounds are. XC is where the battle needs to be fought since that is where 29ers excel. 29er retailers attempting to replace the standard in DH is a waste of company resources.
  • + 1
 I was going to make a similar board comparison, only to snowboards, not surf boards. It generaly about the terrain your riding. I have multiple boards depending on what I'm riding.

For this comparison I would say the 29er is equivalent to my Burton T6. Its a beast. Stiff, fast, longer, and super stable. Never feel like your going to lose an edge and it just eats up bumps and chatter at high speeds.

The 26" would be more like my all mountain/freestyle board. Softer, shorter, more agile, but less stable at high speed.

If I'm ripping some wide open bowl, or some groomers, the big board is the way to go. But take the thing into some steep woods and trees, and its horrible. It just can't be maneuvered properly in there when actual obstacles like trees, rocks, drops, jumps etc are involved. I think this is more eqivalent to what a modern downhill course is, and the shorter, more agile board just works better.

The
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  • + 1
 Regardless of which is better there is frames to fit your size personal preferences and what you enjoy riding just like going to a 1 and 1/4 head tube from the three we all ready have this isn't a problem that needs to be fixed breaking derailers and skipping gears bending discs are problems. What beaks on your bike? Does it end or stop you from ridding? Those are problems that need to be fixed not wheel spacing size or how many gears you have or the size of your head tube or handle bar diamitor fix what breaks not what will make your bonus go up
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  • + 1
 Is it actually a question as to which is the best of the two wheel sizes? Being this 29 inch will revolutionize the biking; it is not a matter of IF, but how soon? No matter what industry an interruption revolves in, those making 26 inch wheels will try to minimize the new trend and fight its inception or eventually they will 1. go broke 2. jump on the bandwagon ? The 29 inch wheel is here to stay !
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  • + 1
 hahaha...wheels just keep getting bigger. Who know maybe in 2015 they will be introducing the 36 inch wheel to DH. I have ridden a 29er and find them to not be what i want in a bike. i would much rather use them for cruising or XC not DH or FR.
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  • + 1
 While the 29er is better at rolling over things there is also a greater flywheel effect caused by going bigger, the wheel would actually have to be a bit lighter than the 26 because of the greater moment of inertia from putting the weight of the tire and rim further out. In some situations the flywheel effect may have some benefit, like long straight trails with little change in direction or speed, but when you're going fast, turning, stopping, starting and constantly changing speed I think the 26 will always out shine the 29ers. I don't think the 29er will ever completely replace the 26er for that reason.
However for the beginner or weekend warrior who might not be able to, or want to bunny hop, jump, manual, or simply pull up over some of the smaller obstacles, the 29er might be a substantial benefit. If that's what it takes to get more people riding/building trails its a good thing, but I don't think I'll ever own one, and it would be safe to say that they will never be a serious contender for the DJ market.
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  • + 1
 Ibis Mojo HD with 180 mm fox float 36 and (for now) RP23, ZTR Flow rims with Hope hubs and discs, SRAM XO Type 2 derailiure. Hans dampf 2.35 tires. KS dropper post.
Bring the 29er that will be more versatile than that......... Not gonna happen soon.
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  • + 1
 We always debate on wheel 29" inch roll better than 26" or 27.5"...in due time, man-made trail or trail use for race events will be develop also for 29" inch or 27.5" bike only,,,for sure event organizers and trail designer will not make it easy for 29'er riders to roll over their obstacles so they will develop trail for 29ér...at this case somebody might come and introduce again 32"wheel size or even more, crazy though but this is what is happening,,,
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  • + 1
 hey man " In real life, though, top wheel builders like Gravy [Steve "Gravy" Gravenites] and well-known wheel companies like Mavic all say that the return rates of 26 and 29-inch wheels are the same, so wheel-strength is not an issue. When we have product meetings, we discuss materials, rim-widths and axle spacing. Wheel-strength is never a topic." thats completly wrong there are far more 26" wheels out there being used than there are 29" wheels and 26" are on a larger scale than 29"

26" for life
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  • + 1
 I have ridden both and I like both for different reasons. There are 2 different trails that I most frequent and one is super technical and I need a 26er and the other is good fast fun and I ride the 29er. I don't think the 26er will ever got the way of the dinosaur.
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  • + 1
 So many people bash full suspension 29ers on this post who have either never tried one, or perhaps tried one for a couple hours. Of course it will feel different. Those who will grow up riding a 29er for 10 years would also think that a 26er feels funny if they try one when they are 25 years old. They would focus on the strengths of the 29er and bash the weaknesses of the 26er. They both have strengths and weaknesses. 29er technology will probably continue to improve in the area of large travel.
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  • + 1
 Quote "We have all-mountain and downhillers riding our 29ers and on every course, in every case, the times are lower and the riders are faster on 29-inch wheels"

Yeah, right....

I see so many 29ers smoking 26ers on the UCI DH race circuit.

Sounds like a pitch for 29ers sales
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  • + 1
 We always debate on wheel 29" inch roll better than 26" or 27.5"...in due time, man-made trail or trail use for race events will be develop also for 29" inch or 27.5" bike only,,,for sure event organizers and trail designer will not make it easy for 29'er riders to roll over their obstacles so they will develop trail for 29ér...at this case somebody might come and introduce again 32"wheel size or even more, crazy though but this is what is happening,,,
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  • + 1
 The thing people arn't realizing is that there are 24" DH bikes made by companies like kona and YT industries and everyone is fighting about bigger wheels? Its like saying a 24" dh bike is smaller thus reducing weight there for making them faster whats going on. 29er might have a chance at AM but never would i ride a 29er DH off a 25ft sender. 29er go the f*ck home and stay there, so piss off!
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  • + 1
 I know there are a lot of DH'ers who cross train, riding other styles to keep their bike handling skills sharp and to stay fit. For instance a given rider may hit up some XC for cardio and the DJ's and Pump Track to hone control and stamina. It's nice to be able to ride one wheel size, such as a 26" in all those disciplines, especially when the DH rig you will be riding is a 26". Imagine going back and forth between 26" and 29", I would think it would be a little funky....no?
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  • + 1
 stupid question. its a little like that story on how freeride has died, bogus. 29er to me are like bike shop gimmics, like clipless pedals. " you can ride over bumps easier, or pedal more efficiently" i call bull. 29er hide skill level, which might be great if you just sit and spin. I dont think we'll ever see sam hills or gwins crossing finish lines on 29ers, but if they did they could bring back spandex and cut there bars to 24 inches and ride with there seats a foot taller than there bars!
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  • + 1
 well...i have a few bikes,,,,6 in.full sus,..love it,..my dh,..love it..4xss,...loveit,....on 26s,....but my 29 hardtail rocks too,,,fast, nimble,light, stiff,....cabon frame,carbon wheels,carbon bar, you know,,,the reason they developed carbon,...to push the envelope....riding my 29 is great,..no steering penalty,carve like a blade,and light wheels stick to the ground....i got other bikes for other stuff
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  • + 1
 Before riding a 29er i thought that I would sit up too high, it would corner poorly, and it would be flexy. I ride a trance now for my everyday trail bike and I was able to demo a tallboy 29er and loved it. I race DH and push my trance to its limits. The 29er felt like it had as much travel if not more than my trance even though it had an inch less. Also when I rode the tallboy I felt much more like I was riding in the bike insted of on it, it cornered extremely well, and it had no noticeble flex. I think that 29in wheels are the way to go for a xc/am bike. For DH... time will tell, it could happen if the components are made strong enough. I think for my next AM bike ill try a more agressive 29er like the bandit or stumpjumper.
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  • + 1
 I have 4 bikes XC/AM/FR&DH, all 26" wheels, none of which are the perfect bike. There will never be the perfect bike, too many variables, styles (riding/bikes), trails/trailbuilders, etc. This sport has evolved faster than anything I have seen, it seems like only a couple years since I first heard of a 29er. Now the 29er seems to be the hands down winner in XC. As for me its not just about speed, its more about rythym, flow, air and just having fun. Final thought, bikes are becoming obsolete over night, and I do not want to be a guinea pig in this rediculously expensive sport during this heated debate. Have Bikes Will Ride.
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  • + 1
 I think it all just depends on the rider and what they feel suits them. The advantages of roll-over ability of a 29er is over shadowed by the heavy wheels and liong back end. However, the 26 inch is tried and true and a lot of people won't stray from this and is manuverable but doesn't have the advantages of the 29er. Each to there own. One hell of a lot of comments
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  • + 1
 Surely the UCI (or similar new bodies) just needs to rule that only 26" wheels are allowed. Then bike racing will be less of a technological battle and more of a human skill/strength/fitness competition.

If all the top riders always have the best technology, the only incentive to develop better technology is that it sells more bikes as everyone else has to keep up. Watch the recent Lars'n'Bars Klunking video; fun is independent of technology!
  • + 1
 Or maybe, you can have any wheel size you like. Some people may be faster on 26", some on 29". Or even some people better on 24" wheels, others on 36" wheels! Maybe a 20" rear and a 40" front?

This really would be interesting and fuel hours of endless misinformation and opinion fueled argumenton internet forums!
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  • + 1
 Well RC, you certainly got some backs up with this one. I would like to say thanks for getting me interested in 29'ers. You recommended a Tallboy to me in response to an on-line question when you were at MBA. Instead, I ended up building a belt drive Ventana El Commandante, which I love. Based on that, I am getting together a Transition Bandit 29'er build for trail/AM/super-D use. While I'll definitely be taking my 26" bike back to Whistler next year, I won't rule out 29'ers for FR/DH in the future.
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  • + 1
 I could see a mutant 29er with a 26" rear (a'la Big Hit w/26" front and 24" rear) make a dent in the DH scene but, IMHO, long-travel 29er would only be good somewhere more open as opposed to tight and tech. The lower center of gravity a 26" wheel bike allows for cornering will dictate that in the end on the DH side of things.
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  • + 1
 History has shown that speaking a non-truth will not hold up. Not just with bikes, but with everything. It may take a week or it may take years, but the truth will win out. Bigger and heavier wheels create a higher center of gravity and make a bike less maneuverable, which is a crucial part of DH racing. It's a fact-you can read it in text books. Chris Sakai has miscalculated and gone way too big, flown over the handlebars, and will innevitavly be rolling down the windows... 29ers have their place in mountain biking, but I doubt it will ever be on the podium of World Cup DH race.
[Reply]
  • + 1
 the 29" will be good for am but untill they can make them absolutly bombproof like the 26" wheel's are with the same sort of weight without comprimsing strenght they will change but till then the strenght of the 26" will win the option of the dh rider's i recon
[Reply]
  • + 1
 I used to ride a 29 fisher. It was a good bike but it was far better on roads. Acceleration takes forever, though top speed is good. But on a downhill track you need good acceleration because you are always getting back up to speed after corners, I can't see 29ers doing it. Also bigger wheels position you differently on a bike, you sit inside it more. That can sometimes be an issue when you need to get around a corner. Personally I think 29ers would dominate road bikes, maybe xc, definatly not dh. Am is up in the air I guess. Though large wheels might make climbs tougher.
[Reply]
  • + 1
 After reading all this i can safely say that if i ever buy a 29'er it will not be from niner. You can not soley say that bigger wheels are better for everything, atleat all other bike companies realise the adv and disadv of 29'ers.
[Reply]
  • + 1
 I own a 26" Anthem X1, and thought I'd try a 29" equivalent version (same equipment spec and overall weight), Looks aside, I found the bigger wheeled bike quite disappointing to ride. Acceleration is something that I treasure and the slower initial feel of the 29er really spoilt the ride in technical situations. Downhill both bikes do a great job; although... and this is just as important to me, the 29er did not deliver an exiciting ride. On tight twisty forest climbs and decents the 26" bike has the edge, and for me on most other climbs the 29er just felt heavier and less fun. I now understand why my friends on 29ers prefer to stay on the fire roads and straight line singletrack.

For the time being, for me, I think 26" wheeled bikes provide a better overall riding package.
26" for mountain bike riding.
29" for some mountain bike riding.

After riding a 29er, I feel better for it, knowing the marketting hype.......is just that.
[Reply]
  • + 1
 How bad is this ding dong's chain growth going to be when his bottom bracket hits the ground with his "vertical" wheelpath? The question here is whether Sugai actually believes what he is saying, or if he thinks people are dumb enough to buy what he says just because he spews out catch words.

Saying it doesn't make it true. I question his claim about rolling resistance as well.
[Reply]
  • + 1
 Ive ridden a 29er for a year and had the following problems:
-Buckled/bent wheels
-Broken spokes
-Crazy chain slap

I then moved to a 26er and have abused it far harder than the 29er and not even a HINT of a buckle in a wheel. And a chain guide to stop chain slap.

Sampled the 29er pie and didn't like it.
[Reply]
  • + 1
 Let's see. Over the last couple of years all of the bike manufactures have decided that D.H. Bikes perform better with lower bottom brackets, shorter chain stays, lighter wheels with less rotational resistance and lower stand over heights.so what better way to improve on this theory than by going in the exact opposite direction.I think 29ers will always have a place in xc and maybe am biking but a 29 D.H. Bike would be nothing more than a plow bike.. It just would never handle as well as a 26 inch D.H. Bike.
[Reply]
  • + 1
 why dont we just ride 33in wheels. those will roll over stuff better than a 29 inch wheel. there is a limit to wheel sizes. I love the fact that 29ers are out there and they are changing how we look at bikes because thats how things improve but, there is a limit
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  • + 1
 Motocross race bikes have wheels that are smaller than a 26" mountain bike wheel. I do not think that a 29" wheel would hold up for heavy duty downhill thrashing. It would have a tendency to taco really easy, and that happens enough with 26" wheels in the downhill world. Yeah it would roll over obstacles easier, but if the manufactures were to make a 29" wheel strong enough for downhill thrashing it would weigh a metric ton. But hey, I could be wrong. We'll see what happens, but I am sticking to 26".
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  • + 1
 I've ridden a Niner brand bike on my local test track. It certainly wasn't bad, but my tricked out Banshee RUNE blows it away all day everyday on the same track. I say we give some of the best WC DH racers the opportunity to test these 9'r prototype DH rigs on there home soil and get some real feedback from the pro's who'd actually be the tipping point.
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  • + 1
 I've just tried a 2012 Specialized Stumpjumper FSR 29er and it was awesome. I found no compromise in agility, it had a lot of traction and it rolled like a stampede. 130mm was enough for almost anything, I rode some DH trails and the bike was up to the task. I sincerely think that 29er will get into all-mountain and DH but they will not replace completly 26ers because they aren't suitable for everyone. I like them because I'm 1,85m and it just feels right, but I doubt that a 1,60m guy will have the same feel.
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  • + 1
 I ride with alot of 29er riders on very tight and tech single track. They have no problem. Way tighter then most dh tracks. The frame geometry would def have change to really make a suitable dh specific 29. Not really about the bike as much as the rider. I personally am gonna stick with 26.
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  • + 1
 The first survey question should really be "have you ever owned a 29?" only riding one a few times they feel weird and take getting used to.

I say it depends on the track and some pro's may have two bikes.. (ie Angelfire DH - 29 yes please, Idaho Springs DH - 29 no thanks)

My Ideal set up would be:
- 24" DJ
- 26" slalom/4X
- 650B DH/Park
- 29" XC/Trail

ha that will never happen..
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  • + 1
 I got a 29er 6lbs lighter than my 26. And I would say 95% of the time I pull for my 26. So for me, 26=more fun and my 29=for sale. The 29 will eventually become the standard, I just hope good tires and wheels will still be available for 26.
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  • + 1
 I hope not!!! I have a garage with about 40 tires in it. Next, I don't think they can make a light rim, around 450-550 grams that can take a seasons worth of riding. I'm from SE Wisconsin, it's mostly flat, but we have trails cut by glaciers. These almost always have rocks or tree ruts on them, I've never had much luck with a rim lighter than that. Carbon isn't the answer, $1700 for rims??? I could build 3 sets of 26 inch Hope (thanks England!) wheels for that. Next, I have a about a 30 inch inseam. Stand over is about 30-31 for most bikes I've seen, with a top tube short enough for me to feel comfortable. Just seems too big. I guess I could look at it like my supermoto, my seat height is 33.5 inches, but I only touch the ground when I stop. Next, these things are heavy. I saw a review, "It's light, for a 29 pound hardtail." That was a review on a $2000 working mans bike. Huh? Pick up a back issue of any mtb magazine prior to 29'ers and you'll see want I mean. Full suspension AM bikes were once "TOO HEAVY" at those weights. A 29'er AM would weigh around 34 pounds? My hardtails hit the scales at 27.5 pounds, with 5 inch forks and DH/DJ bars, stems and cranks, and close attention to where weight can be saved. If I was a CC guy, I see the benefits. But I climb to go downhill. I can't see shelling out a minumun of at least a months pay, for something that's heavier and slower in the areas that I don't want heavier and slower.
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  • + 1
 I'm actually planning to launch my own brand of DH bikes next year at Eurobike. My brand name is "Fiver" and the bikes have 35" wheels, which have been proven to roll over bumps better than 29" wheels. I have a fleet of WC level DH test monkeys testing them now and in all cases they are faster than 29" wheel bikes. More stable, bigger contact patch, better cornering traction. Currently I've got the chainstay length down to 25", with only 60% chain growth over the 3" of travel. Watch this space!

Actually it reminds me of 8 minute abs, 7 minute abs, 6 minute abs. Why is 29" the optimum? Why not 30", 31, 32"?

I think there could be a place for them on some courses. Definitely they will be more stable at speed simply because they are bigger and roll over bumps better. On balance though, if there is a change to 29" as the norm it's going to take a long time. Certainly I don't see many people being overwhelmingly positive on this board.

I'm not against 29" wheels but I've never ridden them and have no burning desire to do so. Commercialism is a powerful thing though, and as soon as the bean counters at three or four big companies realise it's a chance to sell a new bike to everyone who has a 26" currently, Hart, Gwin, Hill, Atherton, Minnaar, all on 29" wheels for WC courses which they will do if that's what they're paid to do, how long is it going to be until everyone jumps on it? A year or two is my bet!
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  • + 1
 29 suck more weight more. weaker wheels Ok maybe they roll better but, so does blowing you tyre up. I would rather down size to 24" wheels rather than go bigger, Bigger not better in this case If you want a 29 buy a road bike
Sould be discusing Sealed bike drives in stead!!!!!!
Sealed bike drives?
Sealed bike drives?
Sealed bike drives?
Sealed bike drives?
Sealed bike drives?
[Reply]
  • + 1
 if it's larger wheels that get more people riding mtbs on trails, and building demand for more trails, or simply getting more people to buy mtbs, then I'm all for it. Regardless of whether I'd choose to ride one instead of what I'm already riding, or not.
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  • + 1
 29ers will just be another option. 26 inch wheels aren't going anywhere. its like choosing full sus or hard tail; picking Giant or Kona. People will pick the bike that feels best to them and that will suit their type of riding.
Bike companies will have to run two lines in the mountain biking category, the 29er line and the 26er line; like they are already doing.
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  • + 1
 29ers will not take over 26ers. The booming marketing of 29ers has been going on for too long for it to be a hype. They will be there, both, as they both have advantages and disadvantages. I don't judge since I've only been on a 29er once, but it wasn't unpleasant at all like a lot of people say.
  • + 1
 Oh and something that hasn't been mentionned yet about Sugai's speech: "Mavic has as much returns of 26" wheels as 29" wheels." That's fine, but he forgets that Mavic has 1 29er wheel and whole bunch (9 or 10 i think) of 26er wheels for 2012 and that 29er wheels are less sold than 26er wheels.
  • + 1
 That's a really good point.
  • + 1
 unless they are talking about percentages and not volume. Ie. 1 out of every 100 sold then the volume of sales does not matter you are simply stating that they have the same return rate.
  • + 1
 It still may not tell the whole story. 29ers tend to be ridden by people who do not ride like hooligans. If you ride it like you stole it beyond its intended use, chances are its a 26er. So one would expect that there will be less trashed 29er wheels.
  • + 1
 Damn it, StinkyTO. I thought of that shortly after I wrote my opinion and I was hoping no one would notice nor reply. Kramster, not only the style of the rider influences the damage a bike takes. A simple accident can destroy a wheel too, adding to the number of returned wheels. But then again, more 26er wheels are returned to match the percentage.
  • + 2
 Robby, I'll try and be a little more clear about what I'm suggesting. If the rate of return is the same, I beleive this is an indicator that 29ers are weaker. I draw this conclusion making a very scientific sweeping generalization based on assumptions that more people who are hard on wheels choose 26ers, and most 29ers are ridden in less stressful conditions. Dirt Jumpers, DHers and general balls out hooligan AM riders are all on 26ers. I'm suggesting the return rate should be much higher on 26ers, but its not. People are trashing 29ers just as much, but in all likelihood riding them in easier conditions. What's it going to be like when people who abuse wheels are running 29ers?
/theory based on suppositions.
  • + 1
 I understood what you said, and you are right. But a lot of hipsters ride 29ers too, and they don't necessary have trail experience. Mistakes are made quicker and that also increases return rates. What I meant to say with my last sentence is that there are far more 26" wheels rolling out there than 29" wheels, which means that the chances of seeing a 26" return instead of a 29" should be bigger. But they aren't.
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  • + 1
 When mtb was first derived they brought over much of the sizing of road bikes i,e 135mm rear end inch steer er tubes,now although things have moved on since then 150mm rear ends and 1.5 head tubes they could have designed the mtb with 29 inch wheels from the out set,but they found for off road that 26 inch was more manoeuvrable and also stronger,for me personally i just prefer the look of a 26 inch wheeled bike and most obstacles can be skipped over.
  • + 4
 Actually when the MTB was first designed (by Geoff apps in 1960's) he was using 29er wheels . He even sent some over to Gary Fisher , but due to the fact that Nokia who made the tyres were not supplying the USA at the time Garry pumped for 26inch . The US ATB took off where as Geoff's Bike company was always going to be a backyard garage affair . Garry Fisher wanted to make 29ers since the very beginning . So the only reason for not having 29ers was the US market couldn't get the tyres simple as .

I've ridden a few 29ers and found some to be better handling than some DJ bikes on tight terrain . As regards the COG on a 29er it is infact lower , as the BB sits lower in relation to the hubs so you get better stability in corners . I really do think 29ers will be the future even in DH .
  • + 1
 Ah i stand corrected Salute
[Reply]
  • + 1
 how about some like for like tests. Rather than 2 opposed people with equally flimsy arguments. But what's next? how many wheel sizes do we need? how many axle lengths and differing so called 'international standards'? brand power, simple as.
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  • + 2
 as far as downhill goes i think if enough of the pro's start using 29" wheels then a large amount of people will too, although i think 26" will be better in downhill so i don't see it happening, but i could be wrong.
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  • + 1
 I had a demo ride on a Niner Carbon Air 9 in the summer, supposed to be a top example of the breed. It was rigid forked so horrible dh compared to what i'm used to but it disappointed in other areas and i really wanted to like it as it looked cool. As a top spec 29er i was expecting a revelation in every aspect apart from tricky dh. It seemed slow in tight corners, slow to accelerate, twitchy on the flat, worse on the downs and only felt the same as my Cove handjob on fire road climbs. Couldnt see the what the fuss was about really. It was light, but throw 3k at Ti or Carbon HT frame and you could get a nice ht with xtr and sus forks for that money and it would handle a lot better everywhere. Not convinced
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  • + 1
 I work at a Trek store and own a Rumblefish pro, Remedy 9.7, and Session88, I can say from riding all 3 of my bikes equally that the 29er will never be as nimble as the 26 inch wheel. I do love my 29er, for trail and XC riding, but whenever I try to ride more technical trails that I would take my Remedy on, the 29er just doesn't want to move under me like the 9.7 does. I've ridden quite a few 29ers and they all just want to roll over everything in their path, not quickly move around obstacles. While a 29er DH bike would have a great rollover factor, it would be very difficult to maneuver with such a long wheelbase and your typical DH bike head tube angle. While you can obviously adjust geometry, the 29 inch wheels will never be nimble and quick like the 26 inch wheels. I believe that 29ers will dominate the XC world, but when it comes to full suspension, especially under 4 inches of travel, they'll be left in the dust.
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  • + 1
 I am riding downhill and I think if I switch to 29er, this is going to bring my bike up making it harder on corners where you just need to be as low as possible if you are riding fast... also maybe it's not a good point, but in my personal opinion the 26 inch bikes look way nicer... the bigger-the uglier
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  • + 1
 I love to ride my local tech DH trails on my Norco Shore and when I'm out riding my meta 6 i love to pump and pop my bike off every jump, drop and roller. For what i ride a 29'er just doesn't cut it. But that's just because of where I'm based and how i like to ride. Its just personal preference.
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  • + 2
 Here in Oklahoma 29ers are all you see except our small group of dedicated DH riders. I see tons of these new 29er AM bikes. They all say the jump terrible but I think I may have to huck one soon and see myself.
  • + 1
 good luck getting it to "huck".
  • + 1
 well it can be hucked but i was being a bit facetious. Around here when we build any jumps or features on our trails the 29er crowd says "i can't do that kind of stuff.....i'm on a 29er...." its a crutch around here to not progress.
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  • + 1
 I have ridden 29ers before and I have to admit they are a smoother ride. However there is no way I would ride one in a AM/DH/FR type style. I like my bikes to be fast and whip-able. I ride mini DH bikes mostly in bike parks, and in my opinion riding A-Line on a 29 inch bike would not be all that fun. You would scrub every jump whither you want to or not. They are damn near impossible to jump on. If they get rid of 26 inch bikes I will stop MTB and any one who pushes 29ers will never get my sale.
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  • + 1
 I've spent a lot of time racing xc and endurance events on hardtail and full sus 29ers. Never did I feel that they had better handling characteristics than a 26er. Both 29ers (ht and full sus) were top of the line models. They certainly did plow over everything in their paths, but the "fun factor" was almost zero. On the other hand, my all mountain and downhill bikes are much more capable on techy terrain, and they handle like a Ferrari as oppossed to the "bus" handling of a 29er. They're much more fun to ride, and add excitement to every ride. Bottom line for me; 29er for xc, 26er for the rest.
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  • + 1
 Ive never ridden a 29er but will they replace 26ers?

If there are more advantages to a 29inch wheel, Sure I dont see why not.
But If the advantages dont outweigh the advantages of the 26er,Why would you bother?

Maybe it will all come down to personal preference?Some people might like the advantages of the 29er compared to the 26er or some people might prefer the 26er to the 29er.
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  • + 1
 As more and more people come into mountain biking, trails get easier, strait-er, less technical, unfortunately. So I guess 29's will take over. Until industry needs another boost, then they will say 27 is the sweet spot. I plan on stickin' to 26 while they're around.
  • + 1
 You really have to try a 29er, they ride like a dream over super hard, super technical stuff. Remember Maxi-avalanche trail? If I could choose any bike to do that trail it had to be an AM 29er.
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  • + 1
 I ride mountain bikes for the challenges. Not saying 29ers are better by any means, but if they were, why would I want them? If I didn't want the trail to challenge me, I'd still be riding road.
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  • + 2
 My downhill bike will be 26"
My jump bike will be 24"
My bmx will be 20"
And its staying that way.

No 29" wagon wheeled clown bikes for me
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  • + 1
 Hey mx'ers out there. Don't mx bikes run a larger front wheel than the rear wheel? Can't we do the same? 26 on the rear for RC length and suspension design, 29 on the front for better roll-over on larger obstacles?
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  • + 1
 The 29 is the choice ofmy co-rider buddies that stand 6 foot 5 in and up. There are qite a few of these guys in Hamilton Ont. Canada. Many Pro Wrestlers and Footballers come from our town,
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  • + 0
 29ers are not really suited for DH because 26 wheels handle technical courses better and can be made stronger than 29 in wheels. For AM it depends on the riding, more XC flowy singletrack favors the 29er, but the Enduro/FR side of all mountain favors the 26 due to its technical emphasis.
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  • + 2
 Would have loved to see Zink 3 the Oakley drop or flip the bender sender on a 29'er………


Wait nevermind.……I DON'T WANT TO WATCH HIM DIE!!!
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  • + 4
 Riding a 29er is like holding a small willy with a big hand..
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  • + 1
 I think there is more hype than real advantages to 29er and also that once again the marketing guys will make us beleive otherwise and create a vibe around new thing to make us buy more stuff.
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  • + 1
 The 29er has to take over eventually. The benefits are too many. The designers will get it dialed. If everything revolved around short chainstays and overall wheelbases there would be full suspension downhill bmx's
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  • + 3
 29"front and 26" rear would make an easier design for downhill bikes possibly.
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  • + 0
 While a 29" wheel will roll over rough terrain more easily, a bigger wheel does absorb larger impacts any better. As such, more suspension is needed. As a 29er gets longer and longer travel, it will become increasing less agile. It may become more stable, and likely this will benefit downhill racers on fast courses.

For other purposes, a larger wheel with more tire may be a mixed blessing. More traction and contact patch, but more effort required to manipulate the wheel path.

I own a 29er steel hard tail. 26lbs built weight with 100mm fork. It is an XC weapon. It feels like a nitro powered drag racer. Goes real fast in a straight line.
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  • + 0
 NONONONONONONONONO .....and ........NO !!! While a larger diameter wheel will roll over bumps easier....it is a less strong object due to a bigger circle and longer triangles that make it up..... There is also more gyro effect to a larger diameter wheel making it more difficult to throw around, certainly in the air.......it rolls easier when up to speed but it accelerates slower than a smaller diameter wheel.....so....maybe for XC .....no thanks for DH !!! Also .....higher center of gravity......no thanks yet again !!
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  • + 3
 I dont know if anyone's pointed this out, but Intense made an M29 and nobody liked it...
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  • + 0
 Back the truck up... You have a guy whose livelyhood relies only on making 29r's against a guy who does both? C'mon. The whole "truth" line of reasoning is a bit tortured as well.....

As for the traction thing... "rolling over" thing easier does not neccessarily mean "better traction". Imagine a giant wheel. The big wheel will only hit the crests of the bumps, a smaller wheel with good suspension travel will be in contact with more dirt a greater percentage of the time.
[Reply]
  • + 1
 look at the market of mtbikes. lot of xc riders.what is the age bracket? mostly 35 or 40 above. conclusion is xc riders and these old riders ride easy trails thats why we see a lot of 29er hardtails on the trails.
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  • + 1
 For the "29er have higher COG" guys........ actually they don't . The COG is in fact lower on a 29er as the bb shell sits lower between the hubs , think double decker bus . higher than a normal bus but has a lower COG
  • + 1
 Wrong, for COG to be lower the BB would have to be lower, not just appear lower in relation to the hubs, even then, hubs, fork crown, head tube all put weight higher up on the bike.
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  • + 0
 For me a 26 inch wheel works, and it works great. There's no way I could ever go back to a 20" BMX now, and I don't see any need to up-size to a 29" either. I haven't ridden a 29", but I'm open to giving it a try.
Long story short, I cant see 29" becoming a DH standard in a million years, as for AM, I think it will become a mixed bag; they will likely continue to become more common in the XC world.
Like it or hate it, that's the way I see it.
[Reply]
  • + 0
 In the past people like Josh Bender put a 24 inch rear wheel because it's more stronger than a 26 inch , so how can a 29 replace in downhill the 26 inch ???
In my opinion the 29" can replace the 26" only if there will be more spokes and each spoke should be at least 3mm diameter .
[Reply]
  • + 0
 Which pro/competitive riders use 29er on their DH/AM bikes? What do they reckon (hard to gauge a fully genuine answer here as it would benefit them ultimately to support their sponsor)? Consumerism is one thing, but if you're looking at performance and effectiveness benefits then you need to look to the guys that rely on it for a living...
[Reply]
  • + 1
 Maybee 29er could also be as solution for rally tall pepole. On the other side, my tiny sister tried one time a 29er and after the ride she felt like stucking betwen two big wheels - nothing for the short ones Wink !
[Reply]
  • + 2
 I don't want to answer the second question as AM and DH should never be lumped into the same category. The attributes that make each ride well are completely different.
  • + 1
 am is cool... but dh rulesWink
[Reply]
  • + 1
 is easy.... are business!!!!!!! always the companies sell new products for obtain many gains!!!, 26, 29, BB, crankset 7 speed, 8 speed, 9 speed, 10 speed, etc... in the future... new 35 in wheels???
[Reply]
  • + 1
 29" DH bike currently for sale
www.lenzsport.com/detail.php?prodID=15

the intense is still the nicest DH 29" I've seen. Trek also has been experimenting with 29" DH bikes.
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  • + 4
 They could at least make the measurements metric.
[Reply]
  • + 1
 No, because 29ers are heavier, weaker, have high center of gravity, slow geometry and parts are more expensive and less readily available than their 26" counterparts.

Over and out.
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  • + 2
 I rode a 29er vs a 26" for quite a while, and felt absolutely no difference. It just makes what is usually a normal sized bike a very large, unwieldy bike.
  • + 1
 So, you did feel a difference......;-)
[Reply]
  • + 1
 I don't think that anyone hads mentioned 69ers yet, 29 on front, better for rolling over bumps and more traction when braking and 26 on the back to keep things simple therefore everyone wins!
  • + 1
 yeah i posted it a while ago,it seems everyones not thought of the possibilities in that,
  • + 1
 Sure, but then you have to take two different sized tubes and you can't swap tires once the rear is cactus.
  • + 1
 depends if you go tubeless,i dont see why you would ever put a rear tyre on the front.
  • + 1
 na you can run 26inch tubes in 29s no worrys never had any probs with it
[Reply]
  • + 0
 I simply find the look of a 29 inch bike very ugly. The wheels are just too big and awkward looking. It seems folks just look for "advantages" on bikes through components, wheels etc.. to make up for their lack of skill. No magic bullet for you sucking except riding and riding and elevating your game.
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  • + 1
 f*ck 29" just trying to make downhill and xc easier the whole point is to have a challenge not make everything easy as possible also 26" wheels can be quite easy to brake 29" will be flimbsy as hell
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  • + 1
 29er Just another solution for a non-existing problem. After that we all know what comes next... 40 inches wheels ! why? ... because they roll better over stuff of course
[Reply]
  • + 0
 Just read the artical, one guy knows hard tails and what someone has told him about squishy bikes and one guy designs, tests, and rids "The Shore" on suspension bikes. Thats just what I read into this post.
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  • + 1
 i think 29" will be too big for some , the picture of the 29er says "latest long-travel 29er" and at 150mm its not really long travel
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  • + 1
 29er Just another solution for a non-existing problem. After that we all know what comes next... 40 inches wheels ! why? ... because they roll better over stuff of course
[Reply]
  • + 1
 I am too short for a 29 inch wheel; it would seriously impact my ability to throw the bike round. Therefore not for me. For others, it makes sense. Where is the debate?
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  • + 1
 Lenz bikes already makes a DH 29er.. why doesn't someone review it.. here it is.

www.lenzsport.com/detail.php?prodID=15
[Reply]
  • + 1
 If it ain't broke why fix it... In the first place DJ mountain bikes were not made to replace BMX... Same goes with the 9er it ain't made to replace the 6er...
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  • + 2
 Nobody cares about the people with 1,67 meters. Frown It isnt funny to climb up a 29er..Big Grin
26" rules...
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  • + 2
 29-inch wheels don't bother me, but blowhard 29er evangelists sure do. I'm looking in your direction, Mr. Sugai.
[Reply]
  • + 3
 BRING BACK 24"!!!!!!


just kidding
  • + 1
 Oh yeah --- he's nuts. l call him Danny MadSkills.


getting back to the 24" market, product selection is very limited
  • + 2
 Yeah, 24's are awesome! It's sweet to be able to make a light but indestructible wheel for less than 100 bucks, and put monster tires on without it feeling ungainly. Sun Envy rims are tough and reasonable in price, and pretty easy to get. Tires are more problematic, but I've been digging the DMR Moto Digger for AM use, and Schwalbe claims to have Fat Alberts in folding 24x2.4. When I win the lottery...
  • + 2
 I run a 24" rear wheel for DH and FR and dont plan on going to 26" rear anytime soon. my bike is so much more agile this way AND the huge 2.8 rear tyre makes the bike soo moto!
I used to run a front 24" which made the bike more agile for woods riding but now I live in the alpes where speed is king.
[Reply]
  • + 1
 I don't know if 29 will replace 26 in DH, maybe it the AM market, but I would sure love to see a legit DH Pro racer take a 29er on a WC course and see where they finish.
[Reply]
  • + 1
 i love the feel of an xc hardtail 29er but i cant really see it working on a dh bike. id imagine it would take away a lot of maneuvering capability especially in the air
[Reply]
  • + 1
 i ride with guys who ride twenty niners and we end up waiting for them on the downhills, it seems that people with less bike skills enjoy the twenty niners
[Reply]
  • + 1
 i feel that there could be 29in downhill bikes but doing this would have to create another racing class where the 29ers race eachother and vice versa.
[Reply]
  • + 4
 I will never own a 29er.
[Reply]
  • + 1
 What happens when you are racing catch massive air and the wind picks up? think you would feel the affects from the wind more with a 29?
  • - 2
 Not really i ride 29 and their Really good for air they keep u stady because of the added surface aeria
[Reply]
  • + 3
 Props to RC.

Best Trolling done ever in PB. Smile
[Reply]
  • + 1
 It's all about opinion. Personally, I don't know anyone who would rock 29" wheels on a dh or am bike, but I would understand if someone wanted to.
[Reply]
  • + 3
 29er's are SHIT!!!! debate over..
  • + 2
 You sir are a legend.
[Reply]
  • + 3
 look at those 22inch wheel bmx's...they cant even give em away!!
  • + 2
 Those things are so pointless and look horrible
  • + 0
 imagine 29 inch bmx! lol
  • + 1
 SE racing actualy make a 29 inch bmx ?!?!?!?!?! it looks pointless but aparently its for fixie freestyle
  • + 1
 dude thats awesomew
[Reply]
  • + 3
 Just curious is "The Hulk" the 26" wheel and "André the Giant" the 29er?
[Reply]
  • + 1
 It's settled then. Someone give us all 29'r downhill bikes to ride. We need a beer sponsor and shuttle trucks as well. Party on the west coast?
[Reply]
  • + 3
 26 for maneuverability and 26'' looks much better than 29''
[Reply]
  • + 3
 since when is an rp23 a downhill shock?!
[Reply]
  • + 0
 why would you ride 29?? wheels have been 26 for ages and people are happy with them. why would you bother brining out a wheel that would make the bike/frame look stupid and lanky...
  • + 2
 Because people are always looking of ways to improve riding and become faster. You need to have riden one to understand and judge it. Does it really matter how it looks if its faster?
  • + 1
 but surely it depends on how hard you pedal?? obviously you dont pedal fast enough to justify 26" wheels
  • + 1
 Yes but riding/racing isnt all about the pedaling ( Unless your a time trial roadie?) That comment doesnt have any relevance. You cant just be ignorant and bin the 29 wheel at the first glance. You need to give the a go, The only problem I have with them is that they dont suit a smaller ride as well.
[Reply]
  • + 4
 Why 29"? Why not 30"?
  • + 29
 They'll switch to 30s once everybody bought a 29er.
  • + 2
 Because 29" uses standard road bike/hybrid rims and tyres (called 700c) so parts are already standard in the road/hybrid sector, cutting costs for manufacturers
  • - 5
 willsoffe- "Because 29" uses standard road bike/hybrid rims and tyres (called 700c) so parts are already standard in the road/hybrid sector, cutting costs for manufacturers"

You could not be more ignorant. 29" wheels are simply 29" wheels, they are unique to themselves and are NOT 700c. If they were then they would be called 700c. If you were to actually measure a road wheel you would see that they are closer to 27.5" in diameter which would make it closer to the 650B. Your theory is completely unfounded and FALSE.

What other useless and false information are you spreading out here?
  • + 5
 Lol, I find it quite interesting that you are so angry and so wrong.

700c rims are the same as 29er rims. 700c tyres are the same size as 29er tyres. Please calm down and admit your knowledge failure.

For example: "(The Aerowarrior can also be used as a 700c trekking rim, or XC 29er with Disc brakes.)"

Source: www.halorims.com/products-details.php?id=RMHA7W2B.

But perhaps you are more intelligent than a rim/tyre manufacturer?

If so, then see here: singletrackworld.com/forum/topic/700c-or-29er-are-they-the-same.
  • + 2
 Actual LOL Will. I love correcting pinkbike warriors!
  • + 0
 Sorry man, made a mistake. And I'm not angry, I just like to use caps. Peace.
  • + 0
 You got owned!
  • + 0
 Even worse than Chris Sakai!
  • + 1
 No problem wildwood :-)
[Reply]
  • + 1
 One of the main reasons I got tired of Mountain Bike Action magazine was because it turned into 29er mag. Looks like good ol RC is trying to 29erize Pinkbike too.
  • + 1
 I don't think that's the case - read a couple of his comments, one being something to the effect - that a 29er dh bike would look very interesting, which I think he meant in a skeptical sort of way. Agree about MBA though!
[Reply]
  • + 2
 Stop trying to sell us that useless wheel size, no one is interested. Its just pure failed marketing.
  • + 1
 Of course the sales will boom, it is still a new product and not everyone changes their bike yearly. Most of the data in that article is purely anecdotal. It depends a lot on the kind of trails that are available around there. I'm pretty damn sure there are very few shops having 29ers as 80% of their sales like the one they mention.
  • + 1
 Bike-inn is a shop nearby and they sell Niner and Specialized only. 29" goes out door quicker than 26". Is it due to the price? Specialized's 26" bikes range from amateur class to pro class while Niner's prices go from enthusiast to pro. Also keep in mind that 29" wheels (stock) aren't cheap. I see only 2 explanations left: or they're hipsters and posers, or 29ers do offer advantages for the flat, sandy terrain in (north) Belgium.
  • + 1
 No doubt 29ers offer advantages for some terrains. It's just that you can make numbers say anything. Around here they probably sell more tandems than 29ers. Despite having cool trails around, if I look at LBS inventories, road bikes/hybrids/commuters are probably close to 90% of the sales.
[Reply]
  • + 2
 HuH, I thought the 29er thing was a women specific design thing so I've never really thought about it.
[Reply]
  • + 2
 Niner needs to produce a dh bike and showcase it on the world cup. They only need to be moderately successful.
[Reply]
  • + 2
 nope, 29er is ment for old men who can take trick lines anymore.. 26 all the way!
[Reply]
  • + 2
 it's completely up to the rider. whatever suits their riding style and preference, regardless of the discipline.
[Reply]
  • + 2
 one wonders if the 29" is just a fade like having a 24" on the rear DH bikes in early 00's ?
[Reply]
  • + 1
 The real question, can you wheelie or manual a 29er as well as a 26er?

I still think 650 with 26 out back might have potential even in DH.
[Reply]
  • + 1
 I presume that you will have to purchase more "things" in order to run these new wheels, that is why they will be wanting people to switch.
  • + 1
 aye..frame,forks,tyres,tubes
[Reply]
  • + 2
 how can you ever pull a decent tabletop with 29 wheels???
but if you want to try , be my guest
[Reply]
  • + 1
 Is this the same Richard Cunningham from mountain bike action? Is so the guy is a douche and a terrible writer and clearly an xc 29er homer. Has been for years!
[Reply]
  • + 2
 Just ride your fuckin bike, jesus this whole thing is just a flame bait article
[Reply]
  • + 2
 A 26 inch'er will always be more maneuverable...he pretty much ends the debate right there for me!
[Reply]
  • + 4
 HAPPY BIRTHDAY OWEN !!!
[Reply]
  • + 1
 I do think it can come down to personal preference, but even so, 29in wheels are no where near as maneuverable nor as strong as 26in wheels.
[Reply]
  • + 1
 29 too much flex... too high in the funnest conditions. But I have a 29er Redline Monocog for use in the city and go buy tortillas that I love it! Wink
[Reply]
  • + 2
 Call me old fashioned but I don't like the idea of running a 29er down a mountain.
[Reply]
  • + 1
 I am new to Mtb. It turns out that I am attracted to other men. I have heard that a 29er is the bike for me. Maybe I should buy one even if it cannot be handled down hill?
[Reply]
  • + 2
 I hereby pledge to keep road bike wheels on the the road and not on my dh bike!
[Reply]
  • + 1
 29ers will be preferred when the trails get more narlier and the pros want speed rather than air tricks
[Reply]
  • + 1
 Want a downhill 29er? COME AND GET IT!!!
www.lenzsport.com/detail.php?prodID=15
[Reply]
  • + 1
 Who cares? So long as I'm riding a bike with those spinny round things on them I'll be happy.
  • + 1
 Cranks ?
  • + 1
 he meant pulleys ofcourse...
[Reply]
  • + 2
 Chris Sugoi has overdosed on his 29er koolaid...
[Reply]
  • + 2
 Who wants to be further away from the dirt??
[Reply]
  • + 2
 Who wants to be further away from the dirt??
[Reply]
  • + 1
 I think x-country bikes should go to a 60" wheel size, that would be great......by jack handy.....
[Reply]
  • + 2
 So what's this got to do with Hulk Hogan Vs Andre the Giant ?
  • + 1
 Andre is way bigger than Hogan bot they're both big boyees.... l guess that's where they're going with it.
[Reply]
  • + 2
 29inches is too big for downhill and would be really unstable!
[Reply]
  • + 1
 i think the main thing you all are missing is how stupid of a question this is to begin with....that's all i have to say
[Reply]
  • + 2
 i just think 29ers are so ugly, i would be embarrassed to ride one.
[Reply]
  • + 2
 29er's are for Spandex lovein XC riders.......lol
[Reply]
  • + 2
 29ers are too clunky especially for those of us over 6ft.
  • + 1
 i guess thats true if you like riding trails on a bmx
[Reply]
  • + 2
 29" wheels on a DH rig is like hockey players wearing long cooperall....
[Reply]
  • + 1
 Get that wrestling photo off this site..you just embarrassed me in class, dammit.
[Reply]
  • + 2
 Wow dh bikes would sit soo high!
[Reply]
  • + 3
 lol Pinkbike Debate Club
[Reply]
  • + 0
 Im not writing a dissertation on the topic: 29ers are gaunt, lanky and ugly looking, i like the proportions of a 26" and the chuckability
[Reply]
  • + 1
 I ride both sizes and would have to say I prefer my 29er, BUT must say, if the wheel is round just ride it and enjoy!
[Reply]
  • + 1
 ill always ride a 26, any biger of a bike i cant get on it ima small dude 26 for life
[Reply]
  • + 2
 Andre the Giant and Hulk Hogan never had that much muscle mass
[Reply]
  • + 2
 personally, 29ers are too luggy for me
[Reply]
  • + 2
 I know 3 people who have switched back to 26! Just sayin!
[Reply]
  • + 1
 Give one to a pro in each field for a few months so theyre comfortable on both bikes, then time it. Theyre still ugly
[Reply]
  • + 2
 NNNNOOOOOOO WWWAAAAAYYYYY!!!
[Reply]
  • + 2
 who gives a crap. just ride what suites you
[Reply]
  • + 3
 Hulk Hogan, all the way.
  • + 1
 Hulk Hogan rides 29" cos he's huge.
[Reply]
  • + 2
 I want a new standard wheel size: 27.5"
  • + 1
 Here here! I second the nomination..(since it was the original proposed MTB wheel size back in the 80s, only a market shortage in 650 rims at the time prevented it from being the standard) Not unusual in technical history, as we are all on ethernet to the internet, when it could have been token ring. ;-) Some thing emerge for the wrong reasons. Usually business or culturally bound.
[Reply]
  • + 1
 i would think the downhill riders would be more likely to go to 650b its bigger than 26 but smaller than 29
[Reply]
  • + 1
 They could have picked a slightly better picture for this story, nevertheless 20" FTW!
[Reply]
  • + 1
 I think 29 r way better for DH and also AM in the long run youll end up saving many tubes
[Reply]
  • + 2
 XC-29er AM-29er FR-26er DJ-26er DH-26er its what i rekon will happen
  • + 1
 DJ is and always will be mostly preferred at 24".
I like to ride DJ with 26" as I'm taller (6ft6") than most, but for the benefits of manouverability, weight and other things such as pumping into kickers, in general people will always prefer 24".
  • + 1
 DH could also end up 650B front and 26 rear. (a la Moto style for running over obstacles better)
[Reply]
  • + 2
 Just ride your bike and stop worrying about wheel size.........
[Reply]
  • + 1
 noooooo, 26" will never be replaced. to think otherwise is simply ludacris! Ludacris i tell you!
[Reply]
  • + 1
 some company should put a dorado on the front of their trail bike and use a 170mm or so shock just to test it out.
[Reply]
  • + 1
 Why not just switch to 33 inch wheels. The contact patch would be huge. As long as I have a choice, ill never ride a 29er
[Reply]
  • + 1
 im buying both but prefer 26 for the aggressive handling
[Reply]
  • + 1
 can't see it taking off for DH, AM is more realistic domain for 29"...
[Reply]
  • + 1
 sorry but 29ers are crap.
  • + 1
 Why're you sorry?
  • + 2
 im sorry because 29ers were invented and in my eyes and having road ones there pretty pointless.
  • + 3
 Lol. I think they're fine for 700c road bikes and hybrids but I don't think they belong on an MTB. Just my 2c.
[Reply]
  • + 1
 nehh, 29" bmx's are the ways forward....
[Reply]
  • + 1
 650B will rule in the end. (incl FR/DH)
[Reply]
  • + 1
 it all comes down to personal preference.... imo
[Reply]
  • + 1
 i could see a dh 69er. almost dirt bike style
  • + 1
 One of the Intense Prototypes is a 26rear 29 front and I think it'd be a GREAT compromise as I do allot of the manuvering of the bike on the back wheel.
[Reply]
  • + 2
 650B in 2012!!!!
[Reply]
  • + 1
 29 is so yesterday, All the cool kids are on 27.5.
[Reply]
  • + 1
 What would Chris think about a 32in hoop?
[Reply]
  • + 1
 will the bigger wheel allow you to ride faster ??
[Reply]
  • + 1
 just like that 2 wrstlers in a faceoff pose id say RACE EM !!
[Reply]
  • + 2
 tbh 29ers just look pish
[Reply]
  • + 1
 wtf!!! hulk was never that yoked. bullshit. loool.
[Reply]
  • + 1
 Did you guys know that 29ers have been around for 40 years?
  • + 1
 sorry 31 years look up Geoff Apps .
[Reply]
  • + 1
 Actaully 36" have you looked at Blacksheep Bikes "Dream" 36er?
[Reply]
  • + 1
 no because 29 are harder to control
[Reply]
  • + 1
 Bring back the Velociped. I want a Velociped DH,Fr,Dirt bike...
  • + 1
 just take your chain off lol
[Reply]
  • + 1
 this discussion absolutely exploded!
[Reply]
  • - 3
 i think that there is validity to both sides of this argument, but im going to side with the 29er.

I think that evolution of the products, and manufacturers pushing the technology, will see that the 29 WILL have a place in DH in years to come.
Also, a common theme in all these posts, is the people hating on the 29ers, dont seem to have ridden them, or dont have an informed opinion.. Not saying everyone, but it seems like a lot of peeps have the old "if it aint broke, dont fix it" mantra going on.

I own both 26 and 29, and love each bike for different reasons. I am sure there will come a day where the 2 meet, where you get the benefits of both geometries etc., in one complete package. Specialized Stumpy EVO 29er this year is a pretty mean package, rides like a dream, and is not too far off of that long travel DH feel bike.

With the surge in 29ers this year, i wouldnt be surprised if your bike name companies ( Specialized, Trek, Scott etc) are reading all these debates, and saying, if people think it cant be done, we will do it!!
  • + 2
 boo 29ers! i dont care what the companies do my enduro would never feel the same with a 29 inch wheel!
[Reply]
  • + 1
 i think i will try it at least out.
[Reply]
  • + 1
 Who gives a toss what the diameter of the wheel is?
[Reply]
  • + 0
 I wonder what the guy that invented the bicycle would say on this one... LOL
  • + 1
 probably join in a big drunken fight as the inventor of the safety bicycle was a Scottish bloke that ran over a child while riding under the influence. and I kid you not .
  • + 1
 Probably not alot.
  • + 1
 He would probably ponder why the bicycle is predominantly used for recreation rather than transportation. (at least in western culture) ;-)
[Reply]
  • + 1
 what happens when there is a super tight corner douche bags
  • + 2
 you slow down and go through it just like on a 26er...you just come into it a whole lot faster and smoother.
[Reply]
  • + 1
 too early for answer.. maybe.
[Reply]
  • + 1
 Horses for courses! There's room for both sizes if you ask me...
[Reply]
  • + 1
 650b is where it's at for AM!!
[Reply]
  • + 1
 Hell Yeah, Cancer Bats shirt!
[Reply]
  • - 1
 I have 29ers and there great but for Dh? Thats a little scarry since your that much more tipped forward
  • + 1
 What? , If you are running them front and rear, how would you be tipped forward?
  • + 1
 it is higher in the air so when you lean forward it feels like you are tipped forward it is a reeally skechy feeling
[Reply]
  • + 1
 No.....it won't!
[Reply]
  • + 1
 i like to ride bikes.
[Reply]
  • + 2
 Its already going on. 20 vs 24 bmx.
  • + 2
 why does the other guy look like paul sr.?
  • + 4
 haha the title made me lmao. i will NEVER ride a 29er period.
  • + 2
 that guy looks like paul sr. aha
[Reply]
  • + 4
 what next 31 "
[Reply]
  • + 0
 If you have a Fox fork, spring for a 650b rim/tire + spokes...it'll be the best $150 (roughly) upgrade you can make. Thank me later.
  • + 2
 waaaw real DH wheels cool lol
[Reply]

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