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 Post subject: 29ers dead?
PostPosted: Tue Nov 11, 2014 12:02 am 
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Joined: Sun Dec 08, 2013 11:45 pm
Posts: 10
I come predominantly from a road and track background but after a house relocation I'm making the jump to mountain biking. I'm looking into buying a fairly high end bike and would like it to last a fair few years before its 'out of date'. Only really looking between 29 inch and 27.5. Question is are 29ers on the way out? Or is 27.5 just a craze? What would you recommend will last?

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 Post subject: 29ers dead?
Posted: Tue Nov 11, 2014 12:02 am 


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 Post subject: Re: 29ers dead?
PostPosted: Tue Nov 11, 2014 2:51 am 
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Joined: Wed Oct 08, 2003 4:15 am
Posts: 3260
Location: tucson
29ers aren't dead, I would say that depending on the type of riding you are doing and where that should determine your wheel size (also your height)


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 Post subject: Re: 29ers dead?
PostPosted: Tue Nov 11, 2014 4:09 am 
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Joined: Mon Nov 03, 2014 11:50 pm
Posts: 21
Location: Florida
At 175 cm (5'9"), I like having both. I started on 26" years ago, went to 29er after that, then went to 27.5, and now have both 27.5 AND 29er hard tail. Though the 29er works for most of what I do here in FL, I do like to get moderate air and travel to North Carolina area a few times a year. If you're over 170cm, and you don't get much air, I'd go with a 29er. If you like to play around a bit more, go with the 27.5 IMO.

I just got my Trek 9.8SL last week, and though I launched it a bit this weekend, it just feels too big to me to jump. Maybe if I was 185 cm, the 29er would feel normal jumping, but it's more of a 'just haul ass' bike to me!

Bottom line: exactly what '520 Dan' said.


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 Post subject: Re: 29ers dead?
PostPosted: Tue Nov 11, 2014 11:26 am 
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Joined: Sat Jun 19, 2004 11:08 am
Posts: 6293
Location: Urbana, Illinois
Dead no. Shorter rides 650B might be the best choice. For larger riders 29er. My current MTB is a 650B and I do love it. It shines on tight twisty single track and rolls over the large stuff well too. Climbs like a 29er. At 6' or 188 cm tall I could go either and both could be a good choice for me.

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 Post subject: Re: 29ers dead?
PostPosted: Tue Nov 11, 2014 11:37 am 
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Joined: Wed Jan 22, 2014 11:48 am
Posts: 275
Also consider a CX if it fits your type of riding & terrain - lots of fun!

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 Post subject: Re: 29ers dead?
PostPosted: Tue Nov 11, 2014 12:57 pm 
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Joined: Wed Jan 18, 2012 4:23 pm
Posts: 475
Location: Midlands, United Kingdom
Juanmoretime wrote:
Shorter rides 650B might be the best choice. For larger riders 29er.

NO, just NO, what difference does the rider size make to what size wheel is best? The frame sizes are all nearly all available, it's only when you get to really short riders do you struggle to make a frame in 29er that fits, but you are talking sub 5'4". Pick the wheel based on usage and preference.

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 Post subject: Re: 29ers dead?
PostPosted: Tue Nov 11, 2014 3:28 pm 
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Joined: Fri Apr 29, 2011 3:28 pm
Posts: 164
Location: portugal
I'm short at 1.65m and ride a 29er, just need a small frame and find a good position on the bike.

I went from a 8.5kg 26er to a 8.5kg 29er, nothing short from amazing. Awesome traction going uphill, very secure on the descents.

Try different bikes and sizes and make your mind, that's what I did before getting a new bike. Don't go for what people say on the internet before trying for yourself.


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 Post subject: Re: 29ers dead?
PostPosted: Tue Nov 11, 2014 7:01 pm 
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Joined: Wed Mar 19, 2014 3:18 pm
Posts: 152
29er for racing 27.5 for play


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 Post subject: Re: 29ers dead?
PostPosted: Tue Nov 11, 2014 7:06 pm 
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Joined: Sun Apr 24, 2011 2:21 am
Posts: 268
For most roadies, 29ers are usually better. In the general sense, roadies tend to not shine to well on technical, and the 29er allows for a bit more forgiveness and allows you to simply steam roll over obstacles. 650b is a little more maneuverable as it behaves much more like the 26, but it can roll over things much better than the 26, but not quite as well as 29.

Each has its advantages, each has its flaws. Truth is, the rider is a much more determining factor. Just look at Pendral, she won World cups and the World championship this year riding a 26.


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 Post subject: Re: 29ers dead?
PostPosted: Tue Nov 11, 2014 11:43 pm 
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Joined: Sun Oct 12, 2014 12:39 am
Posts: 15
Not that she wouldn't have won on a 26, but Pendrel was on 650b this year for most world cups and her worlds win


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 Post subject: Re: 29ers dead?
PostPosted: Wed Nov 12, 2014 12:51 am 
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Joined: Sun Jan 01, 2012 9:58 am
Posts: 289
TheRookie wrote:
Juanmoretime wrote:
Shorter rides 650B might be the best choice. For larger riders 29er.

NO, just NO, what difference does the rider size make to what size wheel is best? The frame sizes are all nearly all available, it's only when you get to really short riders do you struggle to make a frame in 29er that fits, but you are talking sub 5'4". Pick the wheel based on usage and preference.


i'd argue that rider size, usage and preference should all be considered. I see both advantages and disadvantages to 29ers compared to 26ers on many courses which can be attributed to my size - i have a hard time believing that these differences don't also exist between 29 and 27.5.

some of the advantages of the big wheel are less critical for riders of lower mass (rollover, contact patch size, etc). conversely, many of the disadvantages are more significant for riders with less strength (typically lighter, smaller riders). therefore size, weight, strenght etc absolutely should be part of the decision.


Last edited by mentok on Sat Nov 15, 2014 1:23 am, edited 1 time in total.

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 Post subject: Re: 29ers dead?
PostPosted: Fri Nov 14, 2014 3:35 pm 
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Joined: Fri Nov 14, 2014 2:32 pm
Posts: 10
Can't see 29ers going away any time soon. As far as which to choose, I think the above comment about rider size is valid, but I don't think the differences are so great you'd be disappointed with either.


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 Post subject: Re: 29ers dead?
PostPosted: Sat Nov 15, 2014 9:34 am 
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Joined: Sun Jun 30, 2013 6:05 am
Posts: 32
After spending a year on my 100mm travel Scalpel 29er I swapped today to my old 26er 130mm travel Rize "trail"bike, as it's the bike I'm taking to NZ to ride Rotorua's redwood forests for the first week in December.

Wow, what a staggering difference.

The old bike felt like a BMX. Twitchy. Unstable. The little wheels hung up on rocks and tree roots that I previously would just roll over, so need to be more active on the bike to keep the smoothness and flow. Slacker geometry had me popping the front wheel up awkwardly when trying to negotiate steep rock climbing faces and the front end felt light and loose with the slacker geometry on the berms.

The slack(er) head angle and narrower bars caught me a few times too on the tight climbing switchbacks. Much more manhandling the bike to make it go where you want and the bars are only 25mm shorter - wasn't expecting that. Choosing the right gear was a bit interesting as well - went from 2x10 to 3x9 Rapid Rise - that was a particular hassle at first on those banked climbing switchbacks. Oops - too tall a gear, stall, fall to the inside, panic clip-out lol

Eventually i got the hang of it again and started trusting the front more, committing more of my body weight to it, and eventually the gear selection started happening more fluidly as well. Old Man's Valley is a hoot, the new sections doubly so.

I find it a lot easier and more natural to go from the 26er to the 29er. Coming back the other way took me awhile. With the 29er, despite the steeper head angle, feels more forgiving to descend and I feel more "ïn" the bike instead of perched on it. It's easier and less precarious get my weight centred and force the front wheel into the ground to get secure front end grip without feeling like I'm going over the bars if I hit an awkward tree root. The greater stability gives me more confidence to push closer to the limit without feeling like it's going to bite me.

Maybe 27.5 is a nice in-between size, but I'm finding the 29er has so many net advantages that going back to a smaller wheel size is unattractive.

So if you have any pretentions of going racing or long all day trail rides where fatigue might affect bike handling, I'd say go with the 29er. Marketing spin proclaiming their death is greatly exaggerated. ;)


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 Post subject: Re: 29ers dead?
PostPosted: Sun Nov 16, 2014 4:52 pm 
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Joined: Sun Oct 07, 2012 2:39 am
Posts: 56
There are like 5 guys on the WC circuit on 650B. The rest are on 29ers.

Locally (mid-Atlantic US), I've seen 650B in Pro/Elite races twice, on guys sponsored by Giant.

Other than that, the vast majority of the racers I know are on 29ers. I can't remember the last time I saw a guy on a 26er in Pro/Elite.

I really don't get the move by Giant to 27.5/650B. On the FS side, particularly long travel, it makes sense given the workings of the Maestro suspension.


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 Post subject: Re: 29ers dead?
PostPosted: Wed Nov 19, 2014 12:55 am 
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Joined: Sat May 12, 2012 7:25 pm
Posts: 1602
Location: Glermsford, Suffolk U.K
When I race XC all I see is 29er's. I have on two. 27.5" bikes are not just a craze but try to be a half way house and for at least a 29er is so much better for XC racing and XC riding in general that using a 26" wheeled bike leave me feeling slow and lumbering around.

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 Post subject: Re: 29ers dead?
Posted: Wed Nov 19, 2014 12:55 am 


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