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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Was wondering what advantages and disadvantages of a 29er are?

I am looking to purchase a different bike in the spring and wanted some more info before I just jump onto a 29er.

I like the idea of having a larger wheel for going over rocks and other obstacles.

But is a 29er intended for other uses?
 

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A Red Headed Stepchild
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Having owned a 29er briefly I would suggest that you first borrow one from a buddy and ride it on a longish trail ride that includes a variety of terrain.

The bigger wheels are nice for clearing obstacles and maintaining speed once you get the bike up to speed and, at least for me, the bigger wheels are harder to get up to speed. So when I rode a lot of very tight twisty stuff that required constant braking, turning and accelerating I found myself more tired at the end of the ride than if I were on 26" or 650b wheels.

Just an opinion.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
So on steep inclines and other hills it would take a lot more work to power the larger wheels up them?

Seems like a 29er would be for more downhill than average Mountain biking....

I will see if there is a way I can use a 29er and check it out before I purchase one.

Thanks for your help.
 

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I'm on a 29er road bike and it takes a little more work I feel but it's worth it. I'm a Tall guy and I think it fits well.
 

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A Red Headed Stepchild
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So on steep inclines and other hills it would take a lot more work to power the larger wheels up them?

Seems like a 29er would be for more downhill than average Mountain biking....

I will see if there is a way I can use a 29er and check it out before I purchase one.

Thanks for your help.
Yes, but the bike will hold the speed better once you get it there.

29ers do not make very good downhillers.

Great plan and if possible get it for a whole days worth of riding.
 

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YAY BAIKS!
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I'm still trying to figure out why shocks are so great and what's so wrong with a hardtail.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Having owned a 29er briefly I would suggest that you first borrow one from a buddy and ride it on a longish trail ride that includes a variety of terrain.

The bigger wheels are nice for clearing obstacles and maintaining speed once you get the bike up to speed and, at least for me, the bigger wheels are harder to get up to speed. So when I rode a lot of very tight twisty stuff that required constant braking, turning and accelerating I found myself more tired at the end of the ride than if I were on 26" or 650b wheels.

Just an opinion.
This is the only thing that concerns me. Although most of my riding is up and down rocky hills(Palo Duro Canyon) There are spots that I can see this being a problem.

Yes, but the bike will hold the speed better once you get it there.

29ers do not make very good downhillers.

Great plan and if possible get it for a whole days worth of riding.
Why not good downhillers? seems like it would just roll over everything in your way...


I'm still trying to figure out why shocks are so great and what's so wrong with a hardtail.
Yea me and my friends all have hardtails, and one guy has a full suspension, and he keeps saying that he almost prefers going back to Hardtail, because of weight, and the overall feel....
 

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Well I bought mine for a whole different reason! I wanted a big bike that would carry a 280 man, 6' tall. After I bought the Monocog 29er I put a set of Schwalbe Big Apples and disc brakes for the sole purpose of using it as a work out bike. Six months later I now weigh 220 lbs and ride 10 miles every other day and feel a 100% better. I have nothing but good things to say about my 29er and like it was pointed out before once you get it to speed it is a great riding bike. Those disc brakes are worth every cent I paid for them as well. They stop that bike on a dime!
 

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Why get a 29er?
Dunno. I'm still trying to figure that one out myself.

I suppose that the bigger wheels will roll over stuff easier, but if I lost 20 lbs or so, I'd roll over stuff easier on my 26" bike without shelling out any cash.

For me, it's just not worth it. Not to mention, 29er frames seem to break with alarming regularity. I'd say that at least 75% of my friends who ride 29er's have broken at least on frame and/or rigid fork. That's a conservative estimate. Off hand, I can't think of anyone who hasn't broken one. So don't buy one cuz you think bigger is stronger.
 

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Dunno. I'm still trying to figure that one out myself.

I suppose that the bigger wheels will roll over stuff easier, but if I lost 20 lbs or so, I'd roll over stuff easier on my 26" bike without shelling out any cash.

For me, it's just not worth it. Not to mention, 29er frames seem to break with alarming regularity. I'd say that at least 75% of my friends who ride 29er's have broken at least on frame and/or rigid fork. That's a conservative estimate. Off hand, I can't think of anyone who hasn't broken one. So don't buy one cuz you think bigger is stronger.
Anything will break when abused enough! And I would bet I could break mine if I abused it! All I can say is that this was my first new bike in 40 years and I ride it daily and have had no problems with it at all.

I don't ride it down the sides of mountains, I don't jump curbs with it and I don't mistreat the bike. After all it is a machine and when they are taken care of properly, they work properly.

I can't argue the technical points of mountian biking as I am not into mountian biking. But I do know that for the purpose that I bought it for and that was for the excercise and the enjoyment of riding, it has done very well for me.

I believe that Redline has built a very good product and from what I see for sale on Craigslist there are far more Trek's, Specialized, and a whole host of other far more expensive bikes for sale there, and very few Redline bikes for sale. That must speak for the quality of their product.
 

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A Red Headed Stepchild
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Why not good downhillers? seems like it would just roll over everything in your way...

Yea me and my friends all have hardtails, and one guy has a full suspension, and he keeps saying that he almost prefers going back to Hardtail, because of weight, and the overall feel....
Most downhill bikes have 8+ inches of travel these days and the bigger wheels muck up the angles and cause a myriad of suspension problems. Niner claims to have sorted out many of those issues.

An issue with 29er's has been frame cracking, apparently due to the excessive loads put on the frames by the bigger wheels.

There is a place for hardtails and a place for full suspension rides as well. One of my favorite rides (Downieville) cannot be ridden on a hardtail any more, well it can but it is much slower and way more tiring than on a full squish bike.

BTW Blazerwolf, you are right, Redline makes a fine product.
 

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Most downhill bikes have 8+ inches of travel these days and the bigger wheels muck up the angles and cause a myriad of suspension problems. Niner claims to have sorted out many of those issues.

An issue with 29er's has been frame cracking, apparently due to the excessive loads put on the frames by the bigger wheels.

There is a place for hardtails and a place for full suspension rides as well. One of my favorite rides (Downieville) cannot be ridden on a hardtail any more, well it can but it is much slower and way more tiring than on a full squish bike.

BTW Blazerwolf, you are right, Redline makes a fine product.
Thanks Moot! I reviewed several 29er's before choosing the Monocog. I looked at the Kona Smoke 29, The Haro Mary 29er, and several others. I also asked a lot of questions over on the MTN Bike forum about the various types of 29er's. I believe that many of these broken frames that you were referring to were more than likely aluminum frames which are notorious for breaking as it is.

The Redline Monocog is a 4130 CrMo frame and I believe will stand up much better than an aluminum frame. However you have to deal with its drawbacks and that being weight. My 29er comes in at 35lbs as it sits and I am quite sure for the purests out there they would rather take the chance with the breakage rather than deal with the additional weight. Being a big man I enjoy the feel of that heavy iron under my body! Besides what's 35lbs when you weigh 280 lbs. to start off with.
 

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I can assure you that the busted 29er frames that I referred to were not abused. They were mtn bikes and ridden on mountains--the type of terrain that they were built to be ridden on.

I'm not saying that 29er's are all pieces of crap. Just that many seem to break more often than their 26" counterparts.
 

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I can assure you that the busted 29er frames that I referred to were not abused. They were mtn bikes and ridden on mountains--the type of terrain that they were built to be ridden on.

I'm not saying that 29er's are all pieces of crap. Just that many seem to break more often than their 26" counterparts.
Well I agree with you about them being built to be ridden on mountains, however any machine used in heavy terrain stands to break down more so than one used for flat terrain. The Hum Vee is a very good example of my point. Any bicycle used for mountain biking is going to be abused due to the nature of its use. My point I think was that the aluminum frame mountain bikes have a higher rate of failure than a steel frame which I think has a little more give or flexibility! I may totally full of it, but that is what I have read and heard about aluminum frames.

In addition I think one must take into consideration that the 26" bike has been around a lot longer than the 29er and I am quite sure that all the bugs haven't been completely worked out, AND the sheer number of 26' bikes as opposed to the number of 29ers around certainly would make them more noticeable when it comes to break downs.
 

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Well I bought mine for a whole different reason! I wanted a big bike that would carry a 280 man, 6' tall. After I bought the Monocog 29er I put a set of Schwalbe Big Apples and disc brakes for the sole purpose of using it as a work out bike. Six months later I now weigh 220 lbs and ride 10 miles every other day and feel a 100% better. I have nothing but good things to say about my 29er and like it was pointed out before once you get it to speed it is a great riding bike. Those disc brakes are worth every cent I paid for them as well. They stop that bike on a dime!
When I was looking for a MTB I decided against the 29 for the exact opposite reason that you did. I am also a big guy pulling almost 300lbs. I was afraid of the extra distance between the ground and the hub. I figured it would be a bit of a leverage issue in turning and sliding around. I figured I would end up bending the rim. I know it may sound weird considering there is only 1.5" difference when it is all sorted out but it was enough of a nagging issue that I chose a 26.

Weird how the decisions we make can be so far off from others, yet end up working so well for us.
 

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When I was looking for a MTB I decided against the 29 for the exact opposite reason that you did. I am also a big guy pulling almost 300lbs. I was afraid of the extra distance between the ground and the hub. I figured it would be a bit of a leverage issue in turning and sliding around. I figured I would end up bending the rim. I know it may sound weird considering there is only 1.5" difference when it is all sorted out but it was enough of a nagging issue that I chose a 26.

Weird how the decisions we make can be so far off from others, yet end up working so well for us.
That was probably a good call if you plan on taking the bike off pavement. A stout 26" wheelset is dirt cheap compared to a 29" wheelset.
 

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Any bicycle used for mountain biking is going to be abused due to the nature of its use. My point I think was that the aluminum frame mountain bikes have a higher rate of failure than a steel frame which I think has a little more give or flexibility! I may totally full of it, but that is what I have read and heard about aluminum frames.
I think that our respective definitions of "abused" differ a bit. To me, "abused" means to use for a purpose other than that which it was intended for. For instance, riding a rigid 29er on a down hill run would fall into the category of "abuse." Riding an xc 29er on xc trails is not.

I agree that in theory, a steel frame bike of any wheel size should hold up better than the same frame made of aluminum. I ride steel frames almost exclusively for xc trails. They are more flexy than aluminium which also gives them a nicer ride. My first singlespeed was a rigid aluminium bike and about rattled my fillings out. I loved that bike, but after discovering steel, I'll never go back.

Almost all of the busted 29er frames that I refered to were steel with a couple of Ti frames mixed in and only one aluminium. That's not because aluminium is more durable than steel, but because most of my friends with 29er's, have steel bikes.

I have a theory about why 29er's seem to break more often. The longer forks needed for the 29" wheel act as a lever and put added strain on the head tube area. Almost all of the frame failures that I have see have occured in that area.
 

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A Red Headed Stepchild
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Was wondering what advantages and disadvantages of a 29er are?
Hey chumpmann, I was just wondering what you finally decided to do or are you still pondering?
 

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Discussion Starter · #19 · (Edited)
Hey chumpmann, I was just wondering what you finally decided to do or are you still pondering?
I have gotten a lot of good info here. I am leaning more toward getting a 26" now. Seeing that there could be possibly more damage to the frame, and a mention of repairing a 29" wheel and other items could get expensive.
I think the trade off for a larger wheel versus the expense may not be worth it. Although I still would like to "test" one out for a day, but that may be hard to come by here.


Now To try and find out if I should go Full suspension or not.....
 

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Team Diabetes
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Check out the 29ers from Gary Fisher - they've been making them longer and better than anyone else for years (their site has a lot of info on the set up, advantages etc. etc.) I know a few people are riding 29ers out here on the west coast of BC without any issues. Just tweaking the set up on a Fisher Hi-Fi Deluxe 29er after a brief stint on a Fisher Rig 29er. I'll be riding mostly xc and all mountain style of trails and the bike should more than hold up to the roots and rocks typical of this area.
 
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