Are 29ers really dead

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  • Are 29ers really dead
  • Premier Icon FuzzyWuzzy
    Subscriber

    Who’s we? I’d still expect them to be fairly niche in this country, I’d guess your average joe looking for their first ‘proper’ MTB is typically on a sub £700 budget and their idea of an MTB will be 26″. People looking for 29ers I’d guess are experienced MTBers wanting a change so wouldn’t be enough to drive the volume sales. As soon as more manufacturers drop 26″ and offer only 650b or 29″ then the average joe volume will obviously follow.

    Candodavid
    Member

    Hope they’re dead, mine will be niche once again

    Toasty
    Member

    There’s so many standards, everything’s niche these days.

    kerv
    Member

    Maybe it’s just that we’re not all as gullible as the industry assumed!

    What’s a 29er?

    Premier Icon Moe
    Subscriber

    I am just about to buy one, should I wait for the next new standard?

    Premier Icon rOcKeTdOg
    Subscriber

    Dead at least 2 years ago

    Premier Icon kimbers
    Subscriber

    already been superceeded in the states

    Premier Icon rOcKeTdOg
    Subscriber

    Oh, Genesis do a 32er! 🙂

    The uk market is a small proportion of the world market. I’d like to know what are worldwide sales like. The big us companies seem to be committing to larger wheels so there must be demand. Even some of the biker run niche and well respected brands are, so there are real bikers out there that see benefits in larger wheels. we in the uk are hardly known for being at the forefront of much and tend to follow the curve (we love nostalgia so much so we just down want to let go!), so I’m not surprised that 26ers still dominate new bike sales in the UK even if larger wheel sizes are taking off elsewhere in the world.

    Who says we have to have a one size fits all anyway?

    bikeind
    Member

    We certainly are not selling what we expected now of this wheel size
    Starting to see it tail off now in the market,even though it is all I ride if it carrys on then I will find it hard pushed to even sell it in the classifieds in a years time

    Premier Icon buck53
    Subscriber

    The kid down the street who stops me and asks a dozen questions every time he sees me on my bike has just saved up £500 of his own money and bought himself a new bike, it’s a 29er. They’ll be around for a bit yet, I think.

    Premier Icon shortcut
    Subscriber

    In the group I ride with seemingly every week someone turns up with a new bike. Almost always 29ers. Saw a 650 last week though but yesterday was a 29er again!!

    Premier Icon roverpig
    Subscriber

    29ers aren’t dead. Nothing ever dies with bikes. However, my guess is that we’ve reached the plateau with 29er sales, where the number of new folk buying 29ers is matched by the number of 29er owners moving back to smaller wheels. It’s all cyclical isn’t it.

    Premier Icon scaredypants
    Subscriber

    kerv – Member
    Maybe it’s just that we’re not all as gullible as the industry assumed!

    too gullible IMO – we’re all on 650b now 🙄

    RV
    Member

    Generally high end MTB’s are slow to clear these days, 26 or 29er’s. Just bread and butter bikes being sold no more than a grand.
    Now road bikes are a different story, lots of high end off the shelf and custom builds being sold each month form £3k to £8k, though still a slow year really, not helped by a poor start to the year with weather. Road bike sales have increased considerably over the last few years.

    Premier Icon Northwind
    Subscriber

    I was shopping for an “entry level quality bike” the other day for a friend, and tbh I’d not really thought about that end of the market recently… And it turns out, if you’re buying a first bike, you’re almost certainly buying a 26er, or a stinker.

    29ers are still rare, and the ones that are out there are horribly specced. Suntour XCMs on a £750 bike, ffs! I’d spotted the Genesis Mantles at Glentress and assumed it was about a £450 bike. The only one that I could recommend was the Voodoo- now discontinued. There’s a Cannondale that looks OK til you notice it’s a singlespeed.

    But don’t get me started on 650b, I can’t find a single 650b bike under a grand with a quick google.

    Premier Icon dmorts
    Subscriber

    Actually I’ve have started seeing a fair few 29ers about since spring, and they look like they’ve been bought and are being ridden by normal people…. i.e. bought from Halfords etc, don’t look too high in spec and are being ridden down the street. Far from dead.

    Premier Icon rOcKeTdOg
    Subscriber

    It’s all cyclical isn’t it

    I see what you did there, clever!

    Premier Icon roverpig
    Subscriber

    Thanks, I try 🙂

    steve_b77
    Member

    Them there Voodoo Bizangos are coming back in stock in July

    bikeind
    Member

    We as us the main players within the industry
    Trust me I know my thing in the market thus being that we in the know are more than certain its going the way we did not want it to!!
    Gary Fisher said the 26 is dead to me but he may have it wrong

    Premier Icon Mark
    Subscriber

    Lets see what the current picture is..

    Front page poll.. What size wheels do you have on your main MTB?

    We as us the main players within the industry
    Trust me I know my thing in the market thus being that we in the know are more than certain its going the way we did not want it to!!

    eh?

    Lets see what the current picture is..

    Front page poll.. What size wheels do you have on your main MTB?

    I think its a good representation. It would be good to compare with “How long do you keep a bike for?”

    If the average person keeps a bike for 4-5 years then that how long it will take for 29/650 to become the dominate wheel size if it happens.

    I personally feel 29″ has established itself in the global market and is unlikely to dwindle. 26″ and 650b are likely to shuffle for the next couple of years. It’ll be interested to see how it pans out.

    The economic climate is playing more of a part in determining what bikes people buy than new technology and is likely to for years to come.

    scottfitz
    Member

    As far as i know specialized are the only brand to just offer 29er with no 26er option in most of its bikes.
    How else is tell me i can’t have 26″ wheels?

    Premier Icon Northwind
    Subscriber

    steve_b77 – Member

    Them there Voodoo Bizangos are coming back in stock in July

    Good stuff, at least then there’ll be one entrylevel 29er that’s worth buying. (you don’t happen to know when the Boardman Comps and Comp Fis are coming back do you?)

    jonxmack
    Member

    I got into mountain biking properly about 12 months ago when my dad started riding again after a 10+ year hiatus, I built up an alright specced 26 which has done me well, but after racing mayhem the other weekend where it seemed all the fast guys were cruising past me on 29ers (okay I was on a fully rigid retro Orange from about ’93) it made me wanna build one up.

    So I dropped £1500 on the credit card and have parts arriving daily for a custom On One Lurcher build. Was supposed to be starting SS with geared a possibility in the future but due to lack of availability on the horizontal swapouts I splashed some cash on a shifter and a mech and will be riding a 1×10 setup. Really cant wait to see how it rides.

    I do think that 650 will start becoming more prevalent in the not too distant future for “serious” riders but I’m still convinced that the way to go for XC is 29, with 650 being better for (almost) everything else.

    Premier Icon Pook
    Subscriber
    bonesetter
    Member

    Both my LBS’s have 80% 29er’s in their shops (not counting all the other BMX etc).

    Difficult to spot a 26…

    Premier Icon Northwind
    Subscriber

    OTOH, most of my LBSs have few or none. (Alpine at Glentress have millions in their hire fleet, but in the shop they only seem to have a Gary Fisher Sawyer and a Gyro they can’t sell.) Guess it depends where you are.

    Premier Icon stilltortoise
    Subscriber

    What size wheels do you have on your main MTB?

    How does this help? It’s a genuine question. Say you learn that 80% of the STW lot have 26″ wheels on their main bike. What conclusion can you draw from that about the future of 29ers? How is the picture different if 80% are on 29″ wheels? We’ve already established from this industry wheel war that us punters don’t appear to have much control of what the bike manufacturers want to sell us.

    khani
    Member

    They’re deader than the dinosaurs, stupid idea for stupid people, If any of you mugs that fell for the hype still have any Enve wheels, send em to me and I’ll recycle them free of charge before they explode..
    Think of the children’s faces!!! And the kittens…

    Premier Icon tomhoward
    Subscriber

    My LBS, the last time I was in, had 1 650b MTB, the rest were 26. All the 29ers were very obviously hybrids plenty of CX and road too. I suspect this will change with the arrival of the 2014 flock.

    Premier Icon cookeaa
    Subscriber

    I’ve got a theory, there’s actually only ever been one wheel size for MTBs but we’ve all fallen victim to an group case of “Farther McGuire’s perspective disorder”…

    we love nostalgia so much so we just down want to let go!

    [video]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QDstN8nWtJE[/video]

    TooTall
    Member

    Trust me I know my thing in the market thus being that we in the know are more than certain its going the way we did not want it to!!

    Possibly a small town local market………

    Going the way you didn’t want it to – more bikes being sold to a wider range of people with new niches to keep people buying? What person in bikes wouldn’t want a nice diverse market with more to appeal to more people?

    Premier Icon Northwind
    Subscriber

    Do you really think a change in wheel size increases the size of the market and appeals to more/new people? It’s a tool for selling existing customers more bikes, not for broadening the market.

    b45her
    Member

    29″ bikes will stay around for the xc and beginner markets, i think it’s the push to try and get them accepted for more aggressive riding that has fallen flat.

    out of interest the bikes bought by riding buddys over the last few months have been

    intense carbine 26
    specialized camber 29
    ibis mojo 26
    canyon strive x2 26
    canyon nerve AL+ 26
    zestys x3 (714,414 and 314) all 26
    yeti asr 5 26
    orange 5 26
    specialized stumpy evo’s x2 26

    29ers are a rare breed in my part of the world 😆

    TooTall
    Member

    It’s a tool for selling existing customers more bikes, not for broadening the market.

    I know that – but things can work more than one way you know – and different people like different things. More diversity = goodness. Or do you believe there should be one type of bike that we all must ride, regardless of height, style, terrain etc?

    Premier Icon Northwind
    Subscriber

    Of course not, but I don’t believe anyone has ever thought “Oh, I always wanted a mountain bike but those 26 inch wheels are too small to roll easily over rocks. But wait, what’s this? 3 inches bigger? I shall now buy a bike!” Beginners don’t know or care what size bike wheels are.

    TooTall
    Member

    No – but I own more than one type of bike as I am sure many on here do – you may not. I wanted a 29er for years before they became readily available in the UK. Got one and never ridden 26″ since.

    Premier Icon Northwind
    Subscriber

    Tootall, maybe you misread my post- that’s exactly what I’m saying, 29ers are for selling more bikes to the existing customers. But none of that helps broaden the market and appeal to more people, it just retargets the same people.

    Won’t they always have a place for XC racing?

    scottfitz
    Member

    Won’t they always have a place for XC racing?

    Yes roadies struggle on 26ers

    This really is nothing new. You looks at virtually any other sport with kit and developments that have not been demanded from the market have all transformed the respective sports. I’m not saying 29ers will transform biking, far from it, but the concept that all developments have to be demanded from the market is wrong. Often the market had no idea. 29ers are an evolution that may only provide benefits in some areas of the sport. The idea that all MTB’s should have the same sized wheels no matter what your doing with them is just daft. Just the same as saying all suspension bikes should be 120mm, no longer, no shorter.

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