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My First 29er Ride Was Monday Feb. 27th...

Feb. 28, 2012, 11:52 a.m.
Posts: 2273
Joined: Nov. 22, 2002

I guess it was a good day for squash yesterday after all, eh, Cam? Then again, even icy conditions like that bring their own brand of fun.

All WC racers on 29ers may not quite be categorically true, however it's close.

Mudstud, marathon is a different story and that wasn't what he meant, although truth be told, most of the world cuppers not on 29ers last year were likely stuck due to bike choice rather than personal preference. And it was the world cup he was talking about, whether or not that's what you are referring to when you say 29ers are the exception - which XC race series are you referring to?

No one's talking about shortcomings of 26ers but the goal of a XC racer is to go as fast as possible and, I'm sorry, but it's not hype. For XC racing (particularly on what passes for a XC race course in Europe), 29 IS better by virtue of being faster.

Oh, also - it's a bit unfair to call marketers weasels as if they all are by default. We did also promote things in the past that were resisted by many, such as full suspension and disc brakes, which we can all agree did create better bikes.

Feb. 28, 2012, 11:55 a.m.
Posts: 8604
Joined: Nov. 15, 2002

Stating that all XC riders in the worldcup have converted to 29ers is utter BS, sorry. This is simply not true, 29ers are still rather the exception and not the rule in XC racing. In marathon racing, it's an all different story again. I still do not buy the hype, and I especially loathe all that talk about those terrible shortcomings of 26-inch-wheeled rides. Come on, didn't we have an aweful lot of fun in the last 20 years? Without marketing weasels trying to push 29ers down our throats?

I didn't state it or do a survey - it was something I was told. It's not a scene I am familiar with to be sure. Perhaps it was a comment on 2012? Either way - unverified, lazy, sloppy journalism.

As for your skepticism, you are singing directly to the choir. I make decisions based on real information rather than marketing hype.

Feb. 28, 2012, 12:12 p.m.
Posts: 9198
Joined: Nov. 19, 2002

Great writing Cam, I enjoyed it.

Feb. 28, 2012, 12:14 p.m.
Posts: 52
Joined: Sept. 7, 2005

Hey, I rode a 29'er (specialized roubaix road) and a 26'er (Specialized Demo 9) on the same trail. The 29'er jumped and cornered horribly. I'm not drinking the koolaid!

Feb. 28, 2012, 1 p.m.
Posts: 0
Joined: April 14, 2011

So, I've done the exact opposite, and likely most unrecommended way about doing things: I sold my Remedy last month, and I've now ordered a 29er up, and I've never ridden one.

This will be arriving in about a week:

Essentially all my 29er research has been done on NSMB, have spoken to a bunch of guys, and have tried to get out on one (no luck, thanks Connor and Chris for trying to hook up w/ me to give one a go, wasn't to be). I did go down to the shop and swing my leg over a couple, though. :rolleyes:

I've been on Trek bikes for the past few years now, so I'm brand loyal, and the Rumblefish- spec and angle wise- matches up well w/ the Tall Boy. As of now, it will be at least three more weeks before I can even try one out, and those of you who know me know patience isn't one of my better traits…so Sunday I said fuck it and pulled the trigger.

So…I guess we'll see, and report back here. I suppose I need to learn how to ride "in" the bike and carve corners now.

same here, sold my Devinci Dixon and bought a Stumpy Evo "blind" (no test ride), got one of the first into the UK

only ridden a 29er once before, last season in a muddy sh*tfest at the Forest of Dean in Wales, UK

it was an Ellsworth Evolve with minimalist Specialized Fast Trak LK tires and I was very impressed with the traction in mud compared to my old Devinci Hectik running knobbly all-mtn tires

have not drunk any cool aid, or become an evangalist for the 29er movement, its another bike of a different style (I also have a BMX and a Specialized Crosstrail commuter) with its own merits

what is definitely is, is great fun to ride, and I am having a blast again which is all that matters

its not that different to ride, it rolls over rough ground better and the most important thing I have learned is to keep the big wheels rolling as fast as possible as they feel slower to accelerate and de-accelerate than my previous 26" wheels

but I am not having any issues with cornering or cumbersome handling which is what I was led to believe by many riders who have had "test rides" on various 29er

I am 5'10" and the medium (17") Stumpy fits like a glove, have installed a shorter stem (Thomson X4) 70mm and wider bars (Easton Havoc 750mm) and flat pedals

Feb. 28, 2012, 1:42 p.m.
Posts: 0
Joined: Feb. 28, 2012

I visited my uncle in Ft. Worth area TX this past Thanksgiving. He has a couple of 29ers (Vassago Bandersnatch and a Jabberwocky). He took me for a ride on the Lake Grapevine trail network and ever since then I've been dying to get my own big wheels. I've been debating whether to sell my current ride until now. I'm glad I waited this long because Santa Cruz just realesed their Aluminum version of the Highball which is what I think I'm gonna get. I was not at all considering getting a 29er. In fact I only rode one because that was the only bike my uncle had for me. It was definitely love at first ride. I never knew uphills could be fun too. Anyway, I got a buyer for my current bike and I've sold some other stuff, so it won't be long now until I own my first 29er.

Feb. 28, 2012, 4:05 p.m.
Posts: 3801
Joined: April 13, 2003

If you concentrate on the down and gnarly, stick with a 26er. If you want to slay the ups, across, win XC and Super D races, go with a 29er. Both wheel sizes are fun.


Feb. 28, 2012, 6:02 p.m.
Posts: 7
Joined: Sept. 23, 2007

Drank the Koolaid and gone to heaven!!

Bit in '08 with a Stumpjumper 29er. Needed a few mods to get it just right. Front too noodlie so switched out the Reba lowers for 20mm. Since then bit some more and got an 2011 SW Epic 29er. Rip snortin fast racer.

Took delivery yesterday of the Stumpjumper EVO 29er, same one here, but haven't finished the mods. Will swap fork for new Fox 34, 1x10 and carbon wheels and bar. Will be 26lbs of 140 travel AM delight! Stay tuned.

Feb. 28, 2012, 7:32 p.m.
Posts: 3483
Joined: Nov. 27, 2002

Just to add to what Mudstud was getting at. In last years XC World Cup Kulhavy won all but two rounds and the Worlds. In some races he could've won on a tricycle. However, the two guys who beat him, Schurter and Absalon, were on 26"…..

I also think we'll see 29" move away from world level XC once 650b gets sorted out. It'll still be big in marathon but the acceleration improvement of 100g+ lighter rotational weight will be too good a compromise.

What'll really make people poop themselves will be when a team or two turn up at Pietermaritzburg DH WC with 650b wheels on their bikes :)

"I do like how you generally bring an open-minded and positive vibe to the threads you participate in"

- Morgman

Feb. 28, 2012, 8:38 p.m.
Posts: 48
Joined: June 16, 2007

The 29ers are looking more and more appealing. The one thing I'm waiting for is a few more burly packages (like craw said). Bikes like the Transition Bandit 29. And speaking of Transition, I wish more companies would spec their bikes like Transition. Start with a high end fork and rear shock, then spec everything else to hit the price point.

Feb. 28, 2012, 9:16 p.m.
Posts: 2313
Joined: Sept. 18, 2008

29ers are soooo gay

Feb. 28, 2012, 10:21 p.m.
Posts: 481
Joined: May 8, 2010

I read something the other day that 650b wheels fit in giant reigns too, if you want to find a wheelset for me to use….. ;)

Found that too, pretty interested as I have the exact same set up as that guy does, but I would drop my lyrik to 150mm first

Feb. 29, 2012, 11:03 p.m.
Posts: 6
Joined: May 15, 2011

Definitely saw you riding on Sunday. You should've come with us to Crinkum, it was actually really sick, even with the snow.

As far as 29ers go, I'd kill to try one so I can pass judgement. I've heard nothing but good things about them up until now, but I've yet to get to actually ride one myself. The evo stumpy looks perfect for the shore and the riding I do, so I'd definitely be interested in it if I decide that a big wheel bike is something I need.

March 1, 2012, 2:57 p.m.
Posts: 0
Joined: Dec. 23, 2009

I'm interested to hear what you think about pedal clearance on the stumpy - I've ridden 3 Spec 29ers, a stumpy HT, a Camber and most recently an Epic (usually when something's broken on my 26er HT) and they all pedal strike like it's going out of fashion. I thought my Cotic Soul had a low BB and so I'm relatively careful with pedal placement, but the Specialized bikes I've ridden have required almost comical riding through rock gardens and on narrow bench cut trails.

As for the 29er vs. 26er, I've only ridden one brand of 29er, but my general impressions are:
-stinkingly fast
-a lot easier to roll over rocks and roots
-don't hang up my rear wheel on rocks as much
-don't like being muscled through really tight trails. They seem to much prefer carving constant radii and take a fair bit of effort to tighten in.
-frames I've tried seem a little twitchy, although they're all more XC oriented than my usual bike.
-no comment on traction, as all of the bikes I've tried have had scarily minimalist race tires on
-front suspension (100mm Reba?) on all three got completely overwhelmed on fast rocky descents

For me, for every situation they get me out of, they get me into something else. I can see the appeal for fast/ race riding over roughish trails (I'm considerably faster on the Epic), but for general trail riding I'm still perfectly happy on my steel HT.

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