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Old 08-29-02, 12:14 PM   #1
Buddha Knuckle
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29 inch mtb wheels

Hey y'all

What's the word on 29 inch mtbs? Yet another fad? Yet another revolution? Has anybody lived with one of these beasts? Sounds like a lot of fun to me, but why not just grab a cyclocross rig?

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Old 08-29-02, 12:16 PM   #2
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Haven't used them. I don't think thebenefits outweight the negatives (for my style). I think they would mess up the centre of balance and considering mine is already high I don't need more height. I think Gary Fischer started this and it is a good idea for the right style.

I barely know what cyclocross is. I have never seen a cyclocross rider. When I get back to Ontario on vacation I will ask some old bike buds there. So I don't know about that last part.
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Old 08-29-02, 12:25 PM   #3
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Gary Fisher started darn little. Not the mountain bike, not the short chainstay, not the soul patch. I doubt he started the 29" thing either. He may have popularized these innovations, and that deserves some kind of credit, I guess.

Pardon this brief rant, but nobody toots his own horn quite like Fisher. I have to hand it to him, though, nobody makes a profit off of selling pointless gizmos to bike buyers quite like Gary Fisher. He may be the richest mtb'er alive.

But back to the 29s...
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Old 08-29-02, 01:19 PM   #4
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I'd say for taller riders they probably make sense. Big discussion about these rigs recently over on the MTBR Passion board. I think they will continue to grow as far as availability and parts, but will be a niche like SS in the long run. They won't be the demise of 26 inchers.

As far as why not grab a cyclocross rig? Different bike, different setup, different handling. Just get one of each, you can never have to many bikes!
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Old 08-29-02, 01:58 PM   #5
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I was reading about the 29" and that is where I got the info about him coming up with the idea. ::shrug:: As for being for taller riders, maybe on a not very technical course but if you ride anywhere requiring a good centre of balance I think 29's would be too tall. Being 6'5 I already feel I am too high off the ground with a big bike
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Old 08-29-02, 02:02 PM   #6
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I have a Fisher 29er. He was definately not the first, but did manage to make them a little more mainstream, and perhaps perfect the geometry. There are reviews on the Fisher 29er in MTB Action and MTN Bike this month. If you're a collector, it's a very cool bike to have. Rolls over obstacles much easier, climbs better. I haven't noticed a huge difference in acceleration. Cons include lack of tube, tire, wheel availability and selection. I have also found it not so maneuverable in the singletrack. Overall though I love it. It's a very fun an interesting ride.

I might put mine (MT Tam, Med.) up for sale sometime soon. So if anyone's interested they can email me at lponced@umich.edu. Also feel free to ask me any questions about them


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Old 08-29-02, 02:14 PM   #7
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Wouldn't 29's be against grain for a mountin' bike?? I thought the the orginial concept was a low slung bike so you could get on it easy...hense the name "MOUNTIN' BIKE". Isn't this true, or do I have this mixed up with BMXs?

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Old 08-29-02, 03:26 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally posted by Buddha Knuckle
Gary Fisher started darn little. Not the mountain bike, not the short chainstay, not the soul patch. I doubt he started the 29" thing either. He may have popularized these innovations, and that deserves some kind of credit, I guess.

Pardon this brief rant, but nobody toots his own horn quite like Fisher. I have to hand it to him, though, nobody makes a profit off of selling pointless gizmos to bike buyers quite like Gary Fisher. He may be the richest mtb'er alive.

But back to the 29s...
You are correct. 29" have been built for a long time now by smaller bike builders such as Willits (sp?).

You do have to handed to Gary Fisher...he's great at marketing.
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Old 08-30-02, 08:01 AM   #9
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Got one in at the shop (SuperCaliber). I test rode it around the neighborhood and just didn't feel the love for it! It felt kinda funky and not in a good way. I guess if I were tall and couldn't get a good fit on any other bikes I'd be more interested, but for me, I'll stick with my 26".

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Old 08-30-02, 10:24 AM   #10
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Actually, I can't wait to try one out. Soulcraft calls their 29" offering the Holy Roller, and I can just see myself on the thing - steam rolling obstacles and fallen 26" riders on the trail. Sounds like great fun, but I think perhaps you'd sacrifice manuverability and acceleration. I started reading the MBA article, but I got distracted by their 10 worst mtb moments article. Anyway, they mention (I think it was them...) that Fisher 29er actually was EASIER to ride uphill than a hardtail 26. Their reasoning was that the larger wheels had more momentum and inertia than a 26, and so held its line better...interesting. I love the 29" mtb simply because it represents yet another trail-bike philosophy. Retardedly huge rotation mass in all of the sudden a "pro" as opposed to a "con." My personal bias is that 26" wheels may lose to 29" in the speed and stability department, but they more than make-up for it in the acceleration and strength department. Watch me eat those words after riding the 29er, though.

Yo Riderx, "get one of each" eh? Are you, by any chance, related to Gary Fisher? Do you think you'll make it to the ss conference this Saturday?

Peace,
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Old 08-30-02, 11:12 AM   #11
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Quote:
Originally posted by Buddha Knuckle
Yo Riderx, "get one of each" eh? Are you, by any chance, related to Gary Fisher? Do you think you'll make it to the ss conference this Saturday?
No, just think you can never have too many bikes! BTW, I think your above assessment of Fisher is pretty accurate.

Yes, I'll be at the rally. Contacted the promoter, it's on rain or shine and I'll be there no matter what. Less gears, More Beers!
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Old 08-30-02, 03:14 PM   #12
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If you are a collector, and it won't be your only hardtail...GET ONE

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Old 09-03-02, 11:11 PM   #13
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I had a test ride on an Mt. Tam from Ace Wheel Works in Somerville MA with the 29ers happily whirring over roads under construction and over fire hoses and debris etc.

You can lift this titanium marvel high over your head to celebrate your ride on a motorcycle without a motor.

The downside for city biking is the serious rolling friction problem- especially if these baby Hummer tires are underinflated as was the tires I tested. You have to really work hard to get around. I can't imagine the effort it would take to roll these beasts uphill- especially at high altitude!

In comparison, my Marin Eldridge Grade with WBT MotoRaptor 2.1
(fully inflated) tires is a sports car.

However, I just returned from doing some extreme (for me a novice mountain biker) down hill crevasses (?) constructed of baby heads in Durango. I think the 29ers would have given me the courage to release the brakes and just let it roll baby heads! Maybe if these 29-inch tires were underinflated and partially filled with jojoba oil, we would have the ultimate downhill wheels?

Or will the future of the 29-inch wheel be on low-rolling-friction WTB MotoRaptor tires on hybrids crunching through snow and ice in city traffic (on the largest Mt. Tam or Cyclocross frame that your crotch will tolerate ;-)

BTW, I found that motorists (even the rabid variety we have in Boston) pay attention, even give some grudging respect to a large frame bike with these fat 29ers. Or was it the mace cannister I had taped around my left glove?
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Old 09-04-02, 05:50 AM   #14
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Traditionally cyclists have used the largest wheel that will fit into their sized frame.
For larger riders it makes alot of sense to use large wheels. This doesnt mean it is good for smaller riders. Seeing 6'6" riders with tiny 26" wheels seems a bit odd to me. Big riders can handle big wheels on technical courses just as easily as smaller riders can handle 26" wheels.
The wheel size is not really related to the height of the rider off the ground. You can build with a high or low centre of gravity depending on your needs, but with an off-roader you need to jack the rider up higher for pedalling clearance.

I just hope this doesnt start a trend for 700c fat tyred road riding.

I have been doing some pretty technical trails on my touring bike with 32mm rubber. It was quite a challenge but great fun.
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Old 09-04-02, 12:52 PM   #15
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I do not have real 29" experience, but I did take my 02 Jamis Coda off road this weekend and had no problem keeping up with and passing some fairly slick 26" machinery on smooth single track. In fact, I am thinking of adding a set of Michelin Cyclocross tires during the winter months. The bike gets used for 25 mile road rides every other day, but seems just as happy off road.
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