OK, I do mean to sound big headed. If that bothers you, stop reading now.
From various threads on this forum,it seems to be a common belief that...
29ers are no good on twisty singletrack
Fat people ride slowly
Tyres must be at least 2.2" wide and run at 20 - 30 psi for optimum grip
Hub gears are heavy and slow
Suspension should be professionally modified and adjusted to suit the rider
Bunnyhopping and other technical skills are essential
Bar ends should not be used with risers
...so how come I, a 47 year old with a BMI of 28, riding a fully rigid Rohloff 29er with bar ends and risers and 45psi in the 2.0" tyres, who is unable to bunnyhop up a curb and gets off to walk the tricky bits, can consistently finish in the top half, usually in the top third and occasionally in the top quarter in races from 50km to 24 hours and currently be 5th in the Midland Trailquests Autumn League (did I mention I ride trailquests ?)
I even managed to get a top half finish in the Kona mash up after they'd sorted the timing shambles, when trail centres are really not my sort of thing.
Where are all these people with their perfectly suited and perfectly set up bikes and why do so many of them ride slower than me ?