29er – Useless for beginners?
My wife is looking for a new bike. She doesn’t ride much but is keen to ramp that up this year with the kids getting bigger etc.
We’ve looked around the usual places, but most of the kit that has caught her eye has been 29″ flavour.
She doesn’t see the harm so long as she fits the bike. The shopkeeps seem keen to say anything to make a sale.
Would a 29″ be undetectable to the novice, or will it be a bit of a handful?Posted 3 years agoDrPMember
My wife’s a complete novice, so I got her this..
DrPPosted 3 years agomboySubscriber
You’ll find people new to MTBing, on the whole, will prefer larger wheels.
They’re inherently more stable, and what the purists might cry out as a lack of agility in 29ers (yeah right! Ride a good one…) anyone new to the sport will more often than not welcome the extra stability.
My GF has struggled with confidence for the past year on her 26″ hardtail. She’s only a couple of inches shorter than me, so I put a shorter stem on my 29er and she took it out the last 2 weekends. She was MUCH faster everywhere, and much happier to boot. She’s now planning the sale of her 26″ bike and the purchase of a 29er HT of her own.Posted 3 years agoD0NKSubscriber
My wife’s 4’11” I wouldn’t be buying a 29er for her however much she liked the look of them
plenty of ahem, less statuesque riders like big wheelers too. Aslong as she had a decent test ride and got on with the wheel size/geometry shirley there’d be no reason not to buy?Posted 3 years ago
I think at her height the compromises on height of the front end, reach etc that larger wheels enforce would compromise the bike too much.
It’s a view held by a lot of bike designers that I respect so not just prejudice on my part.
she could have 650B if she bought her own tubes 🙂Posted 3 years agojamesoSubscriber
They’re not for everyone or every shorter rider, but the things that make 29ers so stable and hard to endo, with higher front ends, are things some new riders really like – so we made thisPosted 3 years ago
I don’t think you need to make any big compromises to get a smaller rider on bigger wheels, as long as short-travel (less divey) forks are ok and jumps and throwing shapes aren’t a priority. A bit heavier wheels though, granted.thegreatapeMember
My wife went from a Trek Skye, which was bought to ease her into things gently, to a Cali SL. She finds the extra inches give her a much better ride, especially improving her confidence going down, and despite being a complete short arse at 4’14 she has no problems handling a 29er. Conversely, she could hardly ride my 26 incher with its inappropriate angles. The wheel size doesn’t matter as much as the bike fitting properly.Posted 3 years agomduncombeMember
My Mrs rides a Specialized Jett 29er and wouldnt swap it for anything, huge confidence builder, no problems riding singletrack. only thing she noted was initially she found her feet overlapped the front wheel on tight turns but has adapted and now its not a problem.
I certainly wouldnt rule a 29er out but get a test ride if possible.
she has previosuly ridden
Rockhopper 26 HT
Stumpjumper 26 HT
marin Rift Zone 26 FS
Lovely looking bike as well
Posted 3 years agonmdbasetherevengeMember
honourablegeorge – Member
The worry is that she’ll be overwheeled unless she’s riding pretty rough stuff. I see a lot of people riding trail centres on 29″ wheels when 650 or even 26 would be more than enough. 29″s just roll over everything and make it less of a challenge.
🙄Posted 3 years agochestrockwellMember
She finds the extra inches give her a much better ride, especially improving her confidence going down
As mentioned above, she’ll probably find a 29er improves her confidence rather then taking anything away.
Built our lass a 26″ bike up a year or two ago and she loves it but finds it tricky off road because it’s quite a lively ride. If we were to change it it would be for a 29er.Posted 3 years ago
Has he actually ridden a decent 29er recently?
He has a Stumpy FSR 29er and a Niner hardtail, so you make up your mind.
He has a (vast) collection of bikes; and he reckons the right tool for the job is not always 29.
I’ve only ridden one once. I couldn’t tell the difference. Hence the dilemma.Posted 3 years ago
I’m sure that’s true and that’s why I can’t see myself wanting to just ride 29ers but to say 29ers are hard to thread through singletrack sounds pretty princess/pea to me. when you’re pushing really hard, you certainly notice that you need to push them into tighter bends a bit more but it’s not something that a beginner would notice and as has been said previously, the extra stability/confidence may well actually make it a better choice.Posted 3 years agoklumpyMember
If all MTBs had always come with 29 inch wheels you wouldn’t even bother to ask, would you? Then again, if she’s a novice do you even care about a minute differences in wheel size that might eek out a coupla minutes over 2 hours of racing? Find the best deal you can that fits, it will have wheels, they will be some size or other, and who cares what.Posted 3 years agoscottalejMember
I’d get her a 29er if she likes it.Posted 3 years ago
My partner isn’t confident off road and was using a KTM Lycan 26er. I foolishly, in hindsight, gave her a shot of my Trek (Gary Fisher) Rumblefish and she loves it. She finds it more stable and inspires confidence in her to take on more technical terrain that she was wary of with the KTM.crispycrossMember
A word on 29ers for short riders. A friend of mine is 5’1″. She races XC and rode everything (trail centres to Hadleigh Farm A lines) last year on a super-blingy 26″ carbon rocket (19.5 lbs). Now she’s got a Niner and it fits her really well. She’s faster downhills, over rough stuff and loves it on the climbs too, even though it’s 1.5 lbs heavier.Posted 3 years ago
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