29er or 26 full sus? Help!
I wouldn’t buy a 29er because of your height (unless you’re teeny) – I’m taller than you and much as I love my 29er I also love my 26″ bikes, not to mention that other than ‘they look in proportion’, I’ve yet to see a logical explanation of why a 29″ is better for taller people.
You really need to try them to see. Typically though you don’t need as much travel for a 29er as a 26″ bike so if your idea of 140mm is based on a 26″ 140mm bike, you might want to look at 120mm 29ers.Posted 5 years agojambalayaSubscriber
@mcboo, it is the first one I’ve ever seen in there. FWIW when riding XC in the SH or on the more technical SH trails I’ve seen about 3 or 4 29ers out of 100’s of bikes. Out of the maybe 15 “riding mates” none own a 29er although at least one is intending to get one as their next bike.Posted 5 years ago
I’m planning on buying a new mountain bike in the near future, however I’m finding it hard to decide on the ‘right’ bike.Posted 5 years ago
I’m 6″3 and will probably end up a little taller hence the reason I’ve been considering a 29er.
Ideally I would like around 140mm of travel but I don’t know whether to go for a 29er or a 26?
I’m currently considering a Ram Nduro 29er frame with a 140mm fork up front.bowglieSubscriber
As others have mentioned, your height doesn’t necassarily mean that a 29er will fit you better. I’m 6′ tall and over the last 30 or so years I’ve owned or demo’d a lot of bikes, and there’s so much variation in the L/XL sizes between brands, that you’ll definately find a 26″ 140mm FS for your height.
As far as 29ers go, I’ve currently got a 29er HT and FS, as well as 26er HT & FS. IMO, for hardtails, 29ers are the way to go for ‘normal’ XC trail riding – and some of the racier 29er HT’s (Giant, Scott etc) have a very nimble and 26er feel about them.
With FS 29ers, I think the advantages of the wheel size can get reduced by compromises required to accomodate the rear suspension into the frame. I’ve demo’d a few 29er FS’s and all have had some strange handling or suspension quirk that are absent from most decent 140mm FS’s. The other big disadvantage of 29er FS’s is weight – unless of course, you push the boat out and get carbon frame and wheels!
Another problem with 29er FS’s in larger sizes is that you can end up with something that handles like an oil tanker, because of the extra stability created by the wheels and (usually) longer wheelbase. Oh, and the guff about 29er wheels adding the equivalent of 20mm of suspension….big pinch of salt required! 😉
Personally, before going for a 29er FS, I think you need to think very carefully about the terrain and type of riding that you want the bike for. IME, there are quite a few 140mm 26″ wheeled FS’s that are brilliant ‘do it all’ bikes that you’d get to fit you (can’t really go wrong with Zesty, Five, Stumpjumper FSR, Yeti ASR5, Pivot Mach 5.7). But 29er FS’s – with the experiences I’ve had of ’em, if I was limited to one bike, it’d probable be a carbon Santa Cruz Tallboy with EThirteen TRS+ wheels.
One of the ‘dark horse’ 29er FS’s that I tried and liked was the Salsa Spearfish; it’s only got 80mm travel at the back and it’s a single pivot, but it rides very well, and is relatively cheap and light. It’s got more comfort and grip than a 29er HT, but has quite a perky pedalling response compared to some FS 29ers. It wouldn’t be my first choice for hammering around very rough trails in the Lakes, Peak District or rougher rocky trails in Scotland & Wales – but if you’re into longish days out on ‘normal’ XC trail rides, it might be worth demoing one.
Phew – information overload!!
HTH and Good LuckPosted 5 years ago
@jambalaya – yes you don’t see all that many in Surrey Hills yet or anywhere really when just out for a general ride. Every XC race event I go to now though half the field seems to be on 29ers and pretty much all of the really quick guys.
I’m faster on mine, the numbers on Garmin don’t lie. Will leave it to the scientists to figure out why. Me, it all seems more relaxing riding hard on a big wheeler, I dont feel I have to work the front wheel as much on the rough stuff and the back end just rolls along. Think that adds up to a smoother, straighter line and less fatigue…..feels like that to me FWIW.Posted 5 years agoclubberMember
Oh, and the guff about 29er wheels adding the equivalent of 20mm of suspension….big pinch of salt required!
I’d agree that it’s not the same – particularly if comparing a hardtail 29er to a short travel 26″ bike but it’s definitely there IMO. The science to back it up is pretty clear so there is an effect and trying them out, I’d suggest that 20mm is about right.Posted 5 years agochristhetallSubscriber
The best advice is to try and demo a few and see which you prefer
For me, the first time I rode a 29er FS was a real wow moment for me, the two 26 FS that I rode that day just didn’t compare.
That was 4 years ago and the sesult is that I’ve probably ridden more miles since then than in my previous 20 years of MTBing
Certainly can handle just about everything I want to ride up or down
The one downside is that shops in the UK still only seem to have a limited stock of parts – you might want to check out the attitude of your LBS.Posted 5 years agobowglieSubscriber
@bowglie thank you ever so much for your advice! I think I was beginning to be caught up with all the hype about 29ers, and after all I love quick, responsive bikes that you can chuck about in the air and have to worry about it feeling like an “oil tanker”.
No worries 🙂
FWIW, if you do want something chuckable, and don’t mind a HT, I can really recommend Giant’s XTC 29er’s – they’re unlike any other 29er I’ve ridden, and feel very 26er-ey, particularly if you stick some lightish wheels and tyres on. My first ride of one was in Dalby, and I rode up to the bike park (Dixons Hollow), just to see how it handled ‘fun stuff’ – it completely blew me away – for what’s supposed to be a XC race bike, it’s completely bonkers…in a good way! It pops, hops and whips over stuff really easily, it’s planted enough to rail berms at manic speeds, but it’s still super manouverable – it changes direction like a housefly.
My wife has now got the alu version and I’ve got the basis carbon framed model. The carbon frame is superb, super stiff and responsive, but when you’re stood up going over rough stuff it’s very shock absorbent – much more noticeable than even the best steel frames.
I’ve yet to ride a FS 29er that comes anywhere near the manic fun factor and speed of the XTC29er – well, apart from a top of the range Scott Spark 29er, but sadly that was over £5k!Posted 5 years agosinglespeedstuSubscriber
If i were you i’d just try a few different bikes out for yourself.
after all I love quick, responsive bikes that you can chuck about in the air and have to worry about it feeling like an “oil tanker”.
I’d start with a Canfield Yelli Screamy if you’re looking for a HT.
You might find you won’t test anything else after that though. 😉Posted 5 years ago
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