The big wheel market is booming, we have no doubt! In addition to rigid bikes that are slowly gaining more and more popularity, on the full suspension cross country-trail side we can find many options and, undoubtedly, more and more users are turning to the fever of the 29 inches. Are you tired of the routine? Want to try something new and think a 29er is for you?
On hardtail and full suspension mountain bikes up to 140 mm of travel numerous brands have introduced new bicycles with larger wheels sizes of 29 inches. Is this the trend in mountain bikes of the future?
What are the advantages of a 29er?
The large diameter helps the bike roll better over uneven surfaces, over obstacles and offers more traction and cornering grip and safer descents based on a geometry where the bottom bracket is positioned lower than the wheel axles which gives us security, stability and extraordinary trust.
Is there any drawbacks to the 29er?
29ers are also comparatively heavier. Bigger wheels require some time to get used to them, we must anticipate our reactions more, wheels and tires themselves are heavier and offer more rolling resistance on steady non-technical climbs and, in general, bikes with bigger wheels lack the snappier acceleration of the ones with smaller diameter out of the corners and are less agile on very twisty technical terrain where the 26-inch bikes are more effective.
Are you 26″ or 29″? Your opinion counts!
To the question that we raised last week you have expressed your different points of view. Let’s come up with some of them. Charlie Brown tells us that, based on his opinión, 29ers are for bikers with a height of 1.80 m or higher, which Maximiliano Antonio demystifies telling us that he is 1.73 m and he uses a 16” 29er bike that fits him perfectly. Indeed, 29er mountain bikes has shown its advantages even for people not too tall; the secret is that our 29er fits small enough for our needs. Jon Kaxka tells us that his 29er is a fast roller bike where they exist. Very stable on downhills and so fast on wide open trails. He says that his 29er has high-speed feelings similar to full suspension bikes going downhill. Máximo Décimo Meridio agrees, pointing out that a proper choice of gear combinations are needed and this is an important issue because, indeed, 29-inch wheels need shorter gear ratios compared to 26-inch bikes. Jacob Martin prefers the 26-inch bikes telling us that they are more playful and enjoyable, buy hey, 29ers can also be as fun to ride and offer great handling: the secret belongs to a well-balanced geometry with low bottom bracket height and short chainstays for more reactivity and more agile reactions.
Are you for 26 or 29? Some of you in love the new Orbea Occam keep asking us new full suspension 29-inch bikes for the coming future.
Perhaps your wishes may come true sooner than you expect …