1st 29er. Managing expectations

PB Forum :: 29ers
1st 29er. Managing expectations
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Posted: Mar 7, 2021 at 3:46 Quote
I’ve been riding 26” XC bikes forever and BMX before that. Hardtail for all but the last couple years. I’m coming off an older Scalpel Team that I bought second hand. I’ve got a deposit on a new RM Instinct (my first new MTB ever). I’ve rode a friends Fuel EX last season for about 30seconds, so not long enough to determine anything other than a significant size/weight difference and that it rolled much differently than anything I’ve been on. What should I expect my riding experience to be like on the new trail bike that’s arriving? Any pitfalls I should watch out for? Appreciate any feedback from experienced 29 riders.

Posted: Mar 7, 2021 at 4:11 Quote
You'll find it accelerates a bit slower, but maintains speed more easily. You'll also notice that you have to tip it into corners a little earlier, but you'll soon get used to it. It's likely that you'll also feel like you're going a bit slower, when in reality you're going faster.

Posted: Mar 7, 2021 at 18:32 Quote
commental wrote:
You'll find it accelerates a bit slower, but maintains speed more easily. You'll also notice that you have to tip it into corners a little earlier, but you'll soon get used to it. It's likely that you'll also feel like you're going a bit slower, when in reality you're going faster.
^^^what he said!^^^

You may feel a little taller and vulnerable to OTB. It may take a while to overcome that. You will appreciate how the big wheels stay on top of the chunk and maintain their speed and momentum. You will have to adapt your riding slightly. Just don’t get frustrated. Overall I think you will like them and you won’t look back.

Posted: Mar 10, 2021 at 1:29 Quote
Cheers guys! Appreciate the feedback

Posted: Mar 10, 2021 at 4:41 Quote
Don’t overthink it! There’s a vast amount of BS floating around the inter web about the negatives of 29ers. When they first came out there were a few howlers, basically due to some manufacturers simply slapping a set of 29” hoops on their existing bikes which resulted in less than ideal ride characteristics. They were predominantly XC bikes and the tire availability was poor. A good one was still a revelation compared to a 26” XC bike. I went from a trick titanium 26 hardtail that I had about 3k in to a £800 entry level get 29er. The 29er was just faster and smoother everywhere.

Fast forward 15 years and all of the negative traits are well and truly ironed out.
I would say you are far less likely to go over the bars on a 29er and should feel LESS perched on top due to the fact the bottom bracket sits below the axles (compared to 26”) and that modern long low slack geo I think suits 29ers more than other wheel sizes. You will feel more ‘in the bike’ rather than on it which means you can stay in a more natural and in a more neutral position on te bike as opposed to having to hang right off the back on the steeps.
Geometry has advanced massively in even the last 5 years, it’s a great time to buy a bike. Enjoy it, you will be able to ride terrain you would never have contemplated on your old XC bike.

Take your time to explore the grip and if not used to doing so, practise turning your hips to face where you want to go and really leaning the bike into turns. Watch some videos on proper cornering technique and just go ride your new bike!

Posted: Mar 11, 2021 at 6:21 Quote
Pigglet13 wrote:
Don’t overthink it! There’s a vast amount of BS floating around the inter web about the negatives of 29ers. When they first came out there were a few howlers, basically due to some manufacturers simply slapping a set of 29” hoops on their existing bikes which resulted in less than ideal ride characteristics. They were predominantly XC bikes and the tire availability was poor. A good one was still a revelation compared to a 26” XC bike. I went from a trick titanium 26 hardtail that I had about 3k in to a £800 entry level get 29er. The 29er was just faster and smoother everywhere.

Fast forward 15 years and all of the negative traits are well and truly ironed out.
I would say you are far less likely to go over the bars on a 29er and should feel LESS perched on top due to the fact the bottom bracket sits below the axles (compared to 26”) and that modern long low slack geo I think suits 29ers more than other wheel sizes. You will feel more ‘in the bike’ rather than on it which means you can stay in a more natural and in a more neutral position on te bike as opposed to having to hang right off the back on the steeps.
Geometry has advanced massively in even the last 5 years, it’s a great time to buy a bike. Enjoy it, you will be able to ride terrain you would never have contemplated on your old XC bike.

Take your time to explore the grip and if not used to doing so, practise turning your hips to face where you want to go and really leaning the bike into turns. Watch some videos on proper cornering technique and just go ride your new bike!

Will do! Cheers!

Posted: Mar 15, 2021 at 6:26 Quote
Did a couple short rides. Defiantly feels like a monster truck compared to old XC but absolutely loving it. Need my local trails to dry up a bit before I can really start to work the bike and get used to it.

Posted: Mar 17, 2021 at 13:40 Quote
great convo. Just got my first 29er as well. previous bike was a 26 that I parted out about 10 years ago...this will be my return to riding bike...

thanks for starting the thread @DHubie

Posted: Apr 7, 2021 at 22:23 Quote
The whole overall height while on the bike is messing with my mind, it is an XL. I came from a 26 front and 24 rear and this is a whole different ride. Pros and cons but like everything, you have to get used to it.
All I know is that they're fast!!

Posted: Apr 10, 2021 at 20:34 Quote
Pigglet13 wrote:
Don’t overthink it! There’s a vast amount of BS floating around the inter web about the negatives of 29ers. When they first came out there were a few howlers, basically due to some manufacturers simply slapping a set of 29” hoops on their existing bikes which resulted in less than ideal ride characteristics. They were predominantly XC bikes and the tire availability was poor. A good one was still a revelation compared to a 26” XC bike. I went from a trick titanium 26 hardtail that I had about 3k in to a £800 entry level get 29er. The 29er was just faster and smoother everywhere.

Fast forward 15 years and all of the negative traits are well and truly ironed out.
I would say you are far less likely to go over the bars on a 29er and should feel LESS perched on top due to the fact the bottom bracket sits below the axles (compared to 26”) and that modern long low slack geo I think suits 29ers more than other wheel sizes. You will feel more ‘in the bike’ rather than on it which means you can stay in a more natural and in a more neutral position on te bike as opposed to having to hang right off the back on the steeps.
Geometry has advanced massively in even the last 5 years, it’s a great time to buy a bike. Enjoy it, you will be able to ride terrain you would never have contemplated on your old XC bike.

Take your time to explore the grip and if not used to doing so, practise turning your hips to face where you want to go and really leaning the bike into turns. Watch some videos on proper cornering technique and just go ride your new bike!

Piglet nailed it. And the thing that sticks out the most for me as shorter rider (5’7) riding a 29er
(V1 transition sentinel) is that I feel More in bike that above it.... more centered if that makes sense .

Posted: 1 days ago Quote
Sorerider79 wrote:
The whole overall height while on the bike is messing with my mind, it is an XL. I came from a 26 front and 24 rear and this is a whole different ride. Pros and cons but like everything, you have to get used to it.
All I know is that they're fast!!

I'm in the same boat, just got my first 29er coming from a XC 26" and finding it an interesting experience as I wait for the trails around me to dry up. The riding style feels different and the handling feels odd still, much less twitchy compared to the XC but it seems to flop over once you get past center. Been practicing on flats on leaning the bike over vs steering and I'm hoping to learn these new tricks slowly this spring.

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