Death of 26 inch wheel Mountain Bikes?

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  • Death of 26 inch wheel Mountain Bikes?
  • Chevin
    Member

    Speaker2animals (Ace name!) Gary Fisher Mamba Β£525.

    It will be interesting to see what happens now some of the other bigger manufactures such as Giant and Scott have 29ers in the range fo 2010.

    And here is an interesting article…http://www.chevincycles.com/news.php?articleid=395

    aracer
    Member

    The best compromise is the 650b

    Nichety niche!

    When I were but a lad, my first grown-up bike had 650b wheels. Only they weren't called that. You went into a bike shop and asked for a 27 1/2" tyre. Every adult bike had that size wheel, so using a 650b wheel is re-introducing the traditional wheel size to this country, in place of the American interloper.

    No you didn't. Your bike had 27" wheels, ETRTO 630. 650b is ETRTO 584, something completely different, and distinctly rare in this country until this latest craze (actually still rather rare in this country!)

    clubber
    Member

    The simple fact that the article concludes

    Is the 26-inch hardtail dead? Yes, I think so.

    makes it clear that it's not exactly a balanced, well thought out article but rather one which is written to affirm the writer's own opinion or agenda.

    Of course, the fact that if people do buy into the hype that 29ers are just better at everything rather than just being a better/worse alternative depending on what you actually ride will mean people buying new bikes is just a coincidence and definitely not something that journalists (lots of new articles rather than rehashing old ones. "29 vs 26" ad nauseum), the trade (great news – new frame, forks and wheels needed – you can't just upgrade one bit) and manufacturers (ditto) will push because it's good for them all. Definitely not πŸ˜‰

    Premier Icon epicyclo
    Subscriber

    My money is on the 29ers for those who like to ride rigid, and 26" wheel bikes for full suspension.

    I don't like having things to maintain, so I prefer a rigid 29er. Full sus 26" bikes are nice to look at, but I wouldn't want one because I'm not fast enough to justify all that technology.

    Never tried a 29'er, but I don't need to try one to know I don't want one. I can see how they might appeal to the taller rider though.

    The mainstream bicycle industry needs to keep inventing new niches/standards to open up new markets and drive sales. For some people, the new niche/standard may actually benefit them. But for most, it's probably a case that they believe the hype and buy into it because they think it's the next best thing.

    clubber
    Member

    I'm not fast enough to justify all that technology

    Presumably you ride a Β£200 entry level mtb then? what's 'justify' ever had to do with what we ride?!

    Premier Icon epicyclo
    Subscriber

    clubber – Member
    "I'm not fast enough to justify all that technology"
    Presumaly you ride a Β£200 entry level mtb then? what's 'justify' ever had to do with what we ride?!

    No way πŸ™‚ but I'd feel like a right ****t poncing around on a bike with loads of goodies I wasn't capable of using properly. That's why I ride a ss 29er. Simple and works well for the sort of riding I do.

    I admire the skill required to use a full sus bike to its full capacity, but I certainly don't have that level of riding ability.

    clubber
    Member

    If you're that bothered about what people think of you (I presume that's what you mean otherwise why would you feel like a tw@?) then you really shouldn't ride a SS 29er unless you're at a niche beard-fest πŸ˜‰

    You're also suggesting that by riding a deliberately hobbled bike (suggesting that a 29er SS is less capable than a full susser which you aren't capable of using) that it gives you an excuse, right?

    Suggest you care less about what other people think πŸ™‚
    (very tounge in cheek but I really don't understand your pov)

    epicyclo – Member

    My money is on the 29ers for those who like to ride rigid, and 26" wheel bikes for full suspension.

    I don't like having things to maintain, so I prefer a rigid 29er. Full sus 26" bikes are nice to look at, but I wouldn't want one because I'm not fast enough to justify all that technology.

    You mirrored my thoughts!

    That's why I have a Singular Swift now. My Chameleon was fun, but I always felt over biked. The Swift is a better fit and more sure footed when climbing.

    rolfharris
    Member

    There is no best compromise. There is no future in 29ers.

    So long as regular riders value acceleration, the ability to throw the bike around, light weight and decent handling 26ers will stay in charge. 69ers will die first when everyone realises they have the worst of both worlds.

    29ers do make sense in a very, very few situations but otherwise, 26" wheeled bikes are faster, handle much, much better and you can chuck them about a lot more. The handling on 29ers is sluggish, and completely unsuited to most british trails. They lack the bubble and spark of a 26" wheeled bike while also being too much of a handfull for anyone under 6'2".

    They're for fashionistas and look-at-me-niche-types. I'd never recommend them to anyone, not even someone I didn't like.

    And, yes, thanks, I've ridden plenty- Trek 69er Fuels, Gary Fisher Superfly and Hifis and even owned a Rig to really give it a go. Played on Diamondback 29ers and On Ones and Konas. They just don't have a place in the british market.

    rolfharris
    Member

    Or just what mike-at-dialled said.

    clubber
    Member

    Again, despite not being a 29er fan, I think you're wrong, Rolf. 29ers do have a place – I'd have one if I raced enduros I reckon and I may get one as a do it all bike (commuting with some offroad riding). Other riders like slower handling bikes so may be happy with them too.

    It certainly seems that the blind claims that 29ers are just 'better' from the 29er evangelists is hitting a nerve though.

    bent_udder
    Member

    Ah, Rolffie, I can't agree with you there. I'm a **** dwarf at 5'7", so a 29er is definitely not for me. On the other hand, I am quite liking riding a rigid 69er at the moment.

    Quick survey of my bike shed suggests I won't be getting another 29" wheel any time soon…

    RepacK
    Member

    Ok. 1. Ive just come back from my LBS (very busy shop in the SE) & he doesnt sell any – doesnt mean nobody wants one or that they are no good..But he doesnt sell one, at all. Thats zero (0) but Im sure that someone is selling lots somewhere (maybe)..
    2. Im always a bit wary when the top level pros are riding/uh selling the latest kit saying how good it is – just remind me who signs their pay cheques..
    3. I could be wrong & they maybe the best thing since sliced bread but it will be a cold day in the hell before you find me slinging my leg over something that looks like a Penny Farthing (kind of)..

    RepacK
    Member

    Clubber why dont you just get a cross-bike instead if all you want it for is commuting/some off-road riding?

    Premier Icon epicyclo
    Subscriber

    clubber – Member
    If you're that bothered about what people think of you (I presume that's what you mean otherwise why would you feel like a tw@?) then you really shouldn't ride a SS 29er unless you're at a niche beard-fest

    Eh? I'm too old to give a toss what other people think of me. It's what I think of myself that counts, and I reckon unskilled balding bearded old gits with long range fuel tanks (like me) riding around on bikes they can't use are in danger of looking foolish IF (and only IF) like me they can't use the bike properly. Riding my rigid ss 29er gives me a good excuse to get off on steep hills and horrible techy stuff – which I do regularly in 12 and 24 hour races.

    For me a 26" full sus bike is a fun bike for lumpy jumpy play park stuff, and the 29er is the bike I use to go places.

    Other riders have different wants in their bikes and they are equally valid.

    Edit: just read the post of WhatWouldJesusRide – he put it much better than me – overbiked is the term I needed.

    clubber
    Member

    I already have a cross bike πŸ™‚ I like having different mtbs to play with (currently full susser, hardtail and SS – all 26")

    Epi-

    For me a 26" full sus bike is a fun bike for lumpy jumpy play park stuff

    That's not very representative of what *most* full sussers are being used for really. I'd say that the short travel (still can't quite believe that 100mm is now considered short πŸ™‚ )full sussers are for all sorts of riding, particularly for longer rides/races where the benefits are really felt. You don't have to be a rad yoof to get the benefit from that…

    RepacK
    Member

    Thats an interesting review there Kimbers – it would suggest that most of the reasons folk put forward for not liking a 29er hold water – but Im sure the 29er crowd will poo-poo it in someway. For me personally it reinforces my thoughts on them.

    the_pilot
    Member

    Its all very interesting but on this basis acceleration thing, does that mean that a mini will accelerate faster than a Zonda because it only has 12in wheels? I thinks it matters what gear your in, how strong you are, how heavy your bike is etc etc.

    AS for quick steering, obviously gyroscopics come into it to an extent but not as much as geometry, I have ridden slow steering 29ers, fast steering ones and likewise in the 26in department, fast and slow, ful suss and hardtail.

    As for weak wheels…well that's a function of rim, spoke and hub design and construction isn't it, I think my 135mm spaced dishless front 29er wheel with a hub that has 85mm flanges laced onto a 35mm wide rim is really quite strong for jumping off things thanks, much more so than my previous 24mm wide rim, on a dished 100mm wide hub with low flanges…..

    My 29er steers more quickly than a slack angled downhill bike…

    I'll take a beating for this post but all I am trying to say is it is very difficult to make direct comparisons, but very easy to make sweeping statements, there is much to how a bike rides and handles than just a wheel size….

    RepacK
    Member

    pilot how much does that wheel weigh? & yer 29er steers more quickly than a DH bike Are you sure about that?

    clubber
    Member

    I thinks it matters what gear your in, how strong you are, how heavy your bike is etc etc.

    Yes but for a given rider an essentially identically spec'd 29er will be heavier just because of the bigger wheels (and in theory, longer forks/bigger frame but that's very marginal)

    AS for quick steering, obviously gyroscopics come into it to an extent but not as much as geometry, I have ridden slow steering 29ers, fast steering ones and likewise in the 26in department, fast and slow, ful suss and hardtail.

    true but the thing that all 29ers have is a relatively long wheelbase (assuming that they don't have ridiculous toeclip overlap). Every 29er I've ridden just feels that bit slower than I like and the gyroscopic effect is a part of that regardless of geometry.

    As for weak wheels…well that's a function of rim, spoke and hub design and construction isn't it

    Yes, if you're talking about specifics but again, for the same strength, a 29er wheel has to be heavier than a 26" one using the same materials and constraints (eg 100mm hub!).

    Of course you can take extreme examples of each and say that they're the wrong way round but you're clearly not comparing like with like.

    Not a beating, just pointing out that your argument is about specifics rather than general. If someone said no 29er can ever have wheels as strong as a 26" bike then they'd be wrong. If they said that 29ers inherently have weaker wheels then they'd be right.

    Premier Icon epicyclo
    Subscriber

    clubber – Member
    …full sussers are for all sorts of riding, particularly for longer rides/races where the benefits are really felt. You don't have to be a rad yoof to get the benefit from that…

    Maybe you have to be an old git to realise when you're over-biked πŸ™‚

    clubber
    Member

    Maybe πŸ˜‰

    Though IME, it's the old gits who ride the short travel full sussers to keep their decrepit bodies in some sort of working condition πŸ˜‰

    IMHO 69ers have a lot more legs in development terms than 29ers. Lets face it a 29ers just a steroid injected cyclo cross bike – and no one here will ever admit to being a crosser……… πŸ˜‰

    Premier Icon IdleJon
    Subscriber

    As for weak wheels…well that's a function of rim, spoke and hub design and construction isn't it, I think my 135mm spaced dishless front 29er wheel with a hub that has 85mm flanges laced onto a 35mm wide rim is really quite strong for jumping off things thanks, much more so than my previous 24mm wide rim, on a dished 100mm wide hub with low flanges…..

    Why would you dish a front wheel?

    clubber
    Member

    because of disc brakes with a 100mm standard front hub – he was referring to a pugsley or similar which uses a standard 135mm rear hub on the front and as a consequence doesn't need dishing even with discs.

    Premier Icon IdleJon
    Subscriber
    Chevin
    Member

    the_pilot just said what I was about to post. I couldn't agree more!

    As most riders ride upto 15mph off road measuring the difference in acceleration must be tricky. Does anyone produce a 0-15 set of figures? No? Is it because in the real world you can't tell? just because physics says it must be slower…..

    As for the steering, I have one 29er that handles OK but nothing spectacular and one that is super quick ,flickable and no toeclip overlap. It all depends on how well it was designed.

    Why are the 29er wheels weaker? I'm over (well over!) 15 stone and not buckled or damaged a wheel yet (cue catastrophic failure on way home tonight!)yet I have ruined many a 26" wheel. Personally I put this down to rider ability and luck not the wheel size. – Although if I was to get all evangelical I could argue that the bigger wheel rolls over things rather than hits them…….etc etc. πŸ˜‰

    The bottom line is there is a bike for every type of cycling! My job would be a damn sight simpler if there was only one! Try one if you like it fine, if not try something else.

    Matthew

    A 35mm 29er rim like a Salsa El Gordo weights about 700g, compared to about 500g for a fairly burly 26" rim like a DT Swiss 5.1. I would guess that 29er tyres weigh another 1-200g more than their 26" counterparts, then you've got the extra weight of the longer spokes, plus the weight of a 135mm rear hub as opposed to a front hub.

    Even for a 26er you have to spend some serious money to drop 3-400g per wheel, and I would imagine that 29er parts are comparatively even more expensive. I know some people off here have 29ers with wheels that are almost as light as their 26" bikes but some serious spanking of the credit card is required.

    Also, the idea that even an extra 200g at the wheel's edge wouldn't make a noticeable difference to weight or acceleration is pants.

    Is there any point in arguing the advantages/disadvatages of 26 -v- 29?

    It's either "for you" or "not for you" (I know it's not for me). If it's "for", cool, you've found your niche. If it's "not for", then stick with what you've got/know.

    Maybe I am guilty of not looking at the bigger picture, but for me, riding a bike is about how it feels (i.e. if it feels good, it is good), rather than over analysing what one bike does over another one or how it should/shouldn't perform.

    29erKeith
    Member

    mike-at-dialledbikes

    Ahmen!!

    Ti29er
    Member

    If you've been riding at say Bonty 12/24 or this weekend's SITS you'll know that without a doubt that 29ers are invading & doing really well at the events.
    If you doubt it, check out the stats.
    Plus they look so right on the trails – some riders on 26ers just look like their riding their son's 24er now you have the 29ers to compare them to!

    I bought an OnOne Ti29er after trying them out in a 2x part MBR bike magazine article a year ago.
    I rode my 26er this w/end at SITS, and wished I had the 29er, I really did.
    There are so many rides that I enjoy now where as before I would simply ride.
    It's a little difficult to explain, but out on the SITS trails on Sunday, I did what I do on the 29er, get on the gas, get her up to speed (read: momentum), snick her down another cog & pick out the next rider to overhaul. The problem was this did not happen. As soon as I was at speed nothing more happened! Really odd – it was like the Turner and I no longer speak the same language.

    I predicted a while ago on another forum that 29ers would make up the majority of sales within 5 years. My timings will be out, but I see no reason to revise this statement.
    Of course such derision and malace was heaped upon me, but that's ignorance for you!

    Witness the number of main-stream manufacturers now embracing the 29er way of doing things. Check out Spec' 2010 line up – and of course Fisher's Superfly must surely be on every bikers' Wish-list.

    If you have never tried one, you're in for a very pleasant surprise, you really are, but THE best thing is that every ride is such a blast; and you don't need to be tall to benefit from this "revloution" in mountain biking.

    ps – just read the bit about MBR doing a review but I don't need to read it to know so many journos have still found it difficult to "get" the 29er experience. Try "What MB" for a refreshing change of heart by some journos who are more than happy to admit they were completely wrong about 29ers.

    If you are in any way curious, go and try one, don't let others tell you what you should be thinking of the 29er revolution (says he telling you to test ride said bikes!).

    Would I now sell the Β£3.2K XTR Turner Flux for another 29er?
    Yes, I probably would!

    Premier Icon nickc
    Subscriber

    My reasons for not wanting to get a 29er are pretty prosaic TBH, I've recently bought a Chameleon, and it's **** ace, I'm really loving riding it, and right now, I don't want another bike. Now in couple of years or whatever I might be ready for something different, I may try a 29er. Secondly, and this one's admittedly flaky, but I don't like the look of them, dunno why, they just don't look right to me, and that kind of prejudice is hard to overcome, and if I'm honest, is the thing that puts me off the most.

    clubber
    Member

    Witness the number of main-stream manufacturers now embracing the 29er way of doing things.

    You're right, they can spot a marketing opportunity when they see one. Let the other brands do the hard work in promoting them then jump on when they're getting popular. Makes sense to me. Proves nothing other than how companies work πŸ˜‰

    Anyway, I'm all for encouraging people to try 29ers but I've done exactly that and consistently been left feeling disappointed by the experience. I'm still open to it as I mentioned above but only for quite a specific use/purpose since that's what I think they suit.

    FWIW I think 24hr races probably do suit them pretty well actually but then they're either not that technical (I haven't actually ridden the 24/12, mind, but going on comparisons other riders have made with other 24hr courses that I have ridden) or they're more about going fast than having fun.

    Mike, is there any point arguing – well, I guess not but then that could be applied to most topic of conversation. I just don't like hearing that 29ers are inherently better because they're simply not. Incidentally much as I don't like hearing that 26" is the perfect size either (as I've also defended on the side of 29ers earlier above).

    Ride what you like – that's exactly what I've been saying.

    Chevin
    Member

    Good imagining and guessing but here you go,

    Bontrager Rhythm Elite 26" 1845g & Β£300 pair 29" 1937g & Β£330 pair.
    Bontrager ACX TLR 26 x 2.2 605g 29 x 2.2 625g – both the same money!

    Small difference in weight due to the obvious, difference in cost due to numbers made.

    Other than the forks/tyres/wheels though all parts are the same regardless of wheel size……..

    Matthew

    clubber
    Member

    Quoted or real weights, Matthew? πŸ˜‰

    Chevin
    Member

    Digital scales in the shop! Hence the delay to Mr Agreeables post.

    1st time the actual weights were the same as the quoted weights…. ❗

    Just because "mainstream" manufacturers are pushing the 29'er doesn't necessarily mean that 29'ers are better than 26" wheeled bikes or that they are the way forward.

    Profit is No.1 priority to these mainstream companies (execs to pay, shareholders/investors to keep happy) so of course it's in their interest to keep reinventing the wheel to open up new revenue streams.

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