- Anyone tried a 29er and been over or underwhelmed
I tried several and was very underwhelmed until I tried a Singular which I really liked so bought one.
Plenty of threads about 29ers around but to summarise:
a) depends on the bike really but in general, different yes, massively so, no but that can be enough to change how much you enjoy riding them.
b) depends on how/what you ride. They’re not inherently better at everything in the way that some evangelists would have you believe.
FWIW, I still don’t see any justification in the ‘they fit big people better’ argument other than they look more in proportion.Posted 6 years agojamesoSubscriber
I’ve been both over and underwhelmed by different 29ers. like 26″ bikes really. As said above, a lot depends on where/how you ride.
I’m not convinced by the ‘for taller rides only’ idea, I know of riders of 5’9″ or maybe a bit less that love them. I don’t buy this argument of it being proportional to rider or frame size, it may simply be that there are even less well-designed small-frame 29ers than middling size frame 29ers. Bigger wheels make the layout trickier, but the physics of why the wheels are good/bad are the same whatever your height.Posted 6 years agotazzymtbMember
I tried it with a cheap gas pipe inbred 29er and loved it. For the sort of riding I do they are ace. I still have a fleet of bikes of differing wheel sizes because sometimes it’s nice to have a little hooligan bike to **** around on. If I can find a really good big wheel boingy bike then the ellsworth will be replaced. I’ve also fouind that for racing endurance style events a 29er hardtail is the best bike for me personally, even better than my weight weenie fs and hardtailPosted 6 years agoforzafkawiMember
This was my opinion of my first ride on a 29er with a good set of views posted in reply which might be useful.
I’m willing to accept that maybe the Tallboy wasn’t my cup of tea and am waiting for a demo on a Singular Swift to reserve total judgement.Posted 6 years agobikebouyMember
I ride with a few 29erSS’ers and at the time I was on a 26’erHT, well I kinda liked the look of the 29er’s they were on and I’m a roadie at heart, so when I borrowed a stockymates 29erSS for the whole evening I was willing to learn and be open minded. He had an OnOne and I thought it a bit “dead” but I changed over to a whippetmates Gunnar 29erSS and it was amazing. I know the tubes are different and the angles too, but the Gunnar was whippetlike in feel and I bought one.Posted 6 years ago
I still ride it SS but recently I’ve been thinking slamming on some gearthingys.
As a roadie when OffRoad I ride mainly fast pace singletrack with woodland and rolling South Downs.. I like the rolling nature of the 29er and I very rarely get into rocky up/downs or steep ascents so this SS’er fits my riding well.
Though I still have my 26’erHT geared and that’s still a huge giggle inducing bike, just the 29’er seems to get more miles on it at present.
And No, I don’t have a beard.AusMember
Keen to give a 29er hardtail a go, and lots of very +ve reviews of the benefits / fun / great difference of a 29er. Just wondered if anyone had real experience of them, and is it (a) significantly different(rather than marginal), and (b) the difference being preferable and in what way.
Looking at a hardtail, for singletrack fun.
CheersPosted 6 years agotakisawa2Subscriber
5’9″ here, on a 18″ Inbred & love it. I’m a hefty chap though & I like getting out of the saddle & pushing it hard sometimes. The 29er version just seems to handle this better than the 26″ Inbred I had.Posted 6 years ago
The term often used is that you sit “in” a 29er, not “on” it as opposed to a 26″. For me this is certainly the case, & it just feels better. Its not for everyone though. As regards the perceived advantages, yes it does seem to carry speed better & its really at home on a bit of flowing singletrack. I’ve recently tried mine geared & the verdict is still out on that. For my local riding ss is fine. Planning on keeping the geared rear wheel & gear train ready to pop on when needed. Also just put a maxle Reba on mine, again the verdict is out as I do love the feeling of the rigid fork. I have a nice Ventana FS thats gathering dust now, as I prefer the ht. I’d like to try a Swift also, I reckon it could be my next bike after the Inbred, but until I can scrape together a mortgage for a Niner SIR9 the Inbred will do. 🙂ShackletonSubscriber
As a rigid singlespeed, and non-technical mile munching XC bike I love my Swift.
Would I want that kind on handling on my Heckler or 456 for going down steep technical stuff? No.
Horses for courses and all 3 bikes are designed to do the kind of riding I do with each of them. If I tried some of the Lenz bikes I may decide that a 29er long travel bike was actually rather fun!Posted 6 years agoCountry_GentMember
I did find that the bar position took a bit of getting used to on my Swift.
I swapped to a wide flat bar and dropped the stem as low as I could and not it rides just fine. As some posters have said, not as chuckable as a 26″ wheeler (I have a Cotic Soul as well) but great fun on flowy singletrack as it holds it’s momentum so much better than a 26er (or at least feels like it does!)Posted 6 years agoRodMember
I think it’s already been said above, but they can be really good in some cases (if set up right so the front end doesn’t get too high etc). If you want to ride rigid forks then they’re definitely a good thing for the extra comfort (I did 24 hour solos with rigid and suss forks and the rigid set up felt more “right”).
In the end I sold up my 29er stuff and reverted back to 26″ wheels… (my neck/wrists can’t handle the rigid forks and I just prefer the feel of my other bikes).Posted 6 years ago
Swifts do have long head tubes though – Sam says he gets about 50/50 comments that they’re too long/just right so I don’t suppose he’ll change it…
I resorted to a directset (20mm stack height, flat bars and negative rise stem) to get the bars down to a reasonable height.Posted 6 years agoToastyMember
On the note about taller people, at 6’6″ I’m fitting much better on my Scandal 29er than any bike I’ve ever owned. When your saddle is in orbit on an XL frame, adding 10-20mm to the headtube over a normal bike isn’t going to correct the geometry.
I’ve had comments that I look like I’m in a racey XC position while sat on my Meta. Raising the bars just makes the front lift off even more as I’m dangling off the back due to the huge seatpost. :/
Speaking of which, lap times are shockingly close around Cannock Chase between the two (less than 1% difference in times). The Scandal is rigid though, I think it’ll pull away with a sus fork and lighter wheels.
I’ve come from being VERY hesitant about buying a 29er, liking the idea but not really enjoying demo rides, to making it my main bike and planning to take it to MM next weekend over a far better specced trail bike.Posted 6 years agocorrodedMember
I’ve had the loan of a Singular Swift over the last week while my bike (a short and nimble RM Blizzard) had some work done. I took the Swift over the same routes that I’ve done for years on the Blizzard, so it was a level playing field, though I came to the Swift from a position of 29er scepticism and reverence for my Blizz.
So, it was with mixed feelings that the Swift climbed the very steepest sections with greater ease than the Blizzard, despite a modest weight gain. The front didn’t wander at all. And going down it was as surefooted as a sherpa, and probably a bit quicker than the Blizzard.
The Blizzard gains some ground on the flat in the fun department. It pops off every root and ledge with glee while the Swift soberly asks ‘You want to do what? Well, I’ll give it a shot..’. I don’t think my riding style is designed for 29ers – I spend much of a 3hr ride out of the saddle and give the Blizzard a kick or two before jumps. On the Swift I was seated for most of the time and always in two or three gears lower than usual. I spent more time in the granny and less (or none) in the big ring.
But the Swift’s handling was a revelation – perhaps what it shares with the Blizzard is a totally sorted geometry, a big achievement of Sam the designer. I was certainly won over by the Swift, if not totally by the 29er experience. Would I get one? Yes, so long as I could also afford some super-light wheels.
SizesPosted 6 years ago
Bike: L, trim as a Russian tennis player
Rider: 6ft, tending to middle-aged spreadbikebouyMember
Yes I’m inclined to agree on set up. The Gunnar came to me frame/wheels/fork only so I had to source the rest myself. I opted for thompson and ritchey kit that was lying around and changed my more normal 110 stem for a 120 and wider bars. Now this you may think hangs me right over the front, it does, but I already have that “on the drops” stance so I needed to replicate that rather than the sit up and beg of my 26er, which has slimmer and riser bars.Posted 6 years ago
So you see where I’m going with this.. I ride the 29er faster than the 26er and I think the rolling ride of the 29er fits me far better than the more choppy/slower ride I get on the 26er.
I (mostly) finished my Tomac Flint build a couple of weeks back and I’m enjoying it so far. Taking some getting used to and I’m still to tweak a few things (gear ratios and stem length/height) and still waiting for it’s proper brakes but it seems to be really enjoyable to ride so far. I’m 6’4″ so it fits me better than a 26″ hardtail and seems to look in proportion. People have even not noticed that it is a clown wheeler.Posted 6 years agoMostly BalancedMember
My Flint is a good mile muncher but my Dean Ti hardtail is far more fun for pratting about in the woods.
Don’t believe anyone who says that a 29 inch wheel is worth 80mm of suspension on a 26er. Rigid is still rigid. You still feel the bumps with a 29 inch wheel but they do slow you down a little less.Posted 6 years ago_tom_Member
I’ve been thinking about getting a lightweight/racey 29er to replace my road bike in the future (put slicks/cx tyres on it obviously). My reasoning is that it should roll well with the bigger wheels but won’t be as flimsy feeling as a road bike. And I could take it off road to make local riding a bit more fun. Are they actually good for that sort of thing even if you’re a 5’9″ short arse like myself? CX seems to be more the kind of bike for that, but I don’t really like drops or narrow bars much on road, never mind when it gets a bit rougher.Posted 6 years ago
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