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  1. #1
    Mr. Dopolina Bob Dopolina's Avatar
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    29er's - Who is driving this trend?

    This is a carry over from another thread that I hijacked with this discussion. To sum up:

    I don't want to focus on whether the 29er is cool, or a good idea or on the ride of the bike. I am wondering who is driving this fad. Is it being driven by the marketing guys at the bike companies in the US or is it a consumer demand thing. I would really like to hear from shop staff about the end-user feedback they are getting on these bikes and all the products surrounding them.

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    one less horse cryptid01's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bob Dopolina View Post
    I am wondering who is driving this fad.
    willtsmith_nwi is.

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    What is thei 29er you speak of?

    http://www.nsw.yachting.org.au/?Page=5346&MenuID=Youth%2F1060%2F3659%2CYouth_Class_Profiles%2F10423%2F4706

    The 29er is a true one design, high performance dinghy. The boat is exciting and great fun to sail. The class is the fastest growing in the world as young sailors choose it for the combination of high thrill sailing and truly equal boats and equipment. The 29er is recognised by ISAF as an International Class. With these credentials the 29er offers high class competition locally plus the opportunity for sailors to compete at World Championship level against fleets that are truly international. The 2002 World Championship on Sydney Harbour attracted a fleet of 103 baots from 5 Continents and 13 countries. Australia already had a fine record in the 29er, with the current open, youth male and youth female World Champions.
    hmmm, I think i've got the wrong 29er

  4. #4
    Hardrocker
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bob Dopolina View Post
    I am wondering who is driving this fad. Is it being driven by the marketing guys at the bike companies in the US or is it a consumer demand thing. I would really like to hear from shop staff about the end-user feedback they are getting on these bikes and all the products surrounding them.
    Well, if it is in fact, simply a fad.

    I think it is as much the industry as it is the consumer demand. They have to come up with a new gimmick once in a while to keep the customers spending money right? Forks, disc brakes, rear suspension, etc. all came about this way. Any actually performance advantages is a secondary side affect

  5. #5
    Former Member
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    A secret bid by a splinter group of cyclocross riders to get you all on cross bikes.


    The next "innovations" we feed you will be drop bars and skinnier tires.

  6. #6
    Huge Memeber fifthcircle's Avatar
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    I am not a bike shop guy, but I do have a 29er.

    I was looking for a new MTB and tried the GF Cobia. I liked it and decided that it would be fun to have something different and new. So here I am a year later and I don't regret the decision. I think it is just the newest thing, and some people LOVE them, others don't care. If you have people liking them and buying them, then there is your driving force. Demand is there because of the "buzz" about the different way they ride, and people naturally want to try it out. Kinda like Full suspension, many years back. You know there are still people out there that don't like full suspension, or any suspension. That is why there are hardtails and rigid forks still being made and bought.

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  7. #7
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    Ride a 29er... You'll like it. 29" > 26". 29er big, yeah yeah yeah. It's not small, no no no. Gabba gabba-hey. I'm such a purist, I still ride one of these:



    Seriously. I don't think it's a fad, just another option. A damn fine one at that IMO.

  8. #8
    Mr. Dopolina Bob Dopolina's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by BenLi View Post
    Well, if it is in fact, simply a fad.

    I think it is as much the industry as it is the consumer demand. They have to come up with a new gimmick once in a while to keep the customers spending money right? Forks, disc brakes, rear suspension, etc. all came about this way. Any actually performance advantages is a secondary side affect
    The problem with this is that there are only a few bike companies that are pushing this. Tire makers don't want to make a separate designation for the same 700c (622) tires. I'm sure dealers don't want to have to stock even more tires just because it says 29 inch on the side. Component makers are being forced to come up with products that will differenciate the 29er from a 26"MTB. Based on the fact that 29er sales are minute in the grand scheme of bike sales yet these companies are being forced to to risks in a flat MTB market, who is benefiting?

    As to whether it is a fad or not, if sales don't pick up significantly, if they don't become totally mainstream, they will be left to the niche market frame builders.

    I would like to hear from some industry folks about their experience on the sales floor.

  9. #9
    SwampFox Little Leo's Avatar
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    I am driving the fad

  10. #10
    Pwnerer Wordbiker's Avatar
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    Our shop is in a rural area, so folks around here don't buy as much for fashion as for function. We don't have hipsters that other people try to emulate, so things like fixies, singlespeeds, cross bikes and 29ers are a pretty rare request...other than from the urban tourists that just can't believe we didn't drink the kool-aid and stock the store with the exact parts they wanted to buy on clearance. Yes, we do have several customers riding 29ers, as does the shop owner, and so did I...until I found I didn't care for my Supercaliber (flexy noodle) and sold it to another lighter guy that just loves it.

    Of the very few 29ers we've sold out of the shop, the majority were due to ride quality, not by magazine-driven hype, not by peer pressure, not by racing results...just the customer's impression after riding one. For a niche few, the big hoops are a solution to either their real or perceived needs...and who are we to say they're wrong?

    As a tallish guy, I happen to be one of those riders. As soon as I can afford another mountain bike, it'll be a 29er. Right now I'm just waiting to see what the new Specialized bikes will ride like. If I like what I see, it may very well be my own enthusiasm driving the 29er "fad"...at least locally.
    Quote Originally Posted by ahsposo View Post
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  11. #11
    Sir Fallalot wroomwroomoops's Avatar
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    It's not a fad. I feel much more comfortable and stable on a 29er. So much so, that I am in the process of getting rid of my 26" bikes. Well, I'll keep one or two (heavily customized singlespeeds).

    No changes to any of the 26" MTN bikes had yielded such a dramatic improvement in ride quality, as going to a 29er. I hope the trend grows and the choice of fat 700c tires increases. 622-60 ain't enough for me, the fatter the better.

  12. #12
    Too Much Crazy
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bob Dopolina View Post
    This is a carry over from another thread that I hijacked with this discussion. To sum up:
    I don't want to focus on whether the 29er is cool, or a good idea or on the ride of the bike. I am wondering who is driving this fad. Is it being driven by the marketing guys at the bike companies in the US or is it a consumer demand thing. I would really like to hear from shop staff about the end-user feedback they are getting on these bikes and all the products surrounding them.
    Thats too bad, because it is the crux of the issue.

  13. #13
    Elitist Troglodyte DMF's Avatar
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    Seems to me that one big advantage of the 26" is lower center-of-mass.

    Yes/no?
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  14. #14
    Huge Memeber fifthcircle's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bob Dopolina View Post
    I'm sure dealers don't want to have to stock even more tires just because it says 29 inch on the side.

    Component makers are being forced to come up with products that will differenciate the 29er from a 26"MTB.
    But they are willing to stock a bunch of road/bmx/kids/hybrid/cross/26"mtb/recumbent tires????

    What components are sooooo different? The wheels/tires and forks are about the only really big changes. Of course the frame is different, but big deal. There are hundreds of different 26" frames out there, why not some new bigger wheeled versions.



    I am sure people had this discussion about MTB's in general when they first came on the scene.... "why are all the bike path riding yuppies buying mtb's?" "why do you need a mtb? you live in town."

    -Kurt
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    2006 Gary Fisher Cobia - 29er baby!
    2006 Lemond Buenos Aires - Steel/Carbon best of both worlds.

  15. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bob Dopolina View Post
    The problem with this is that there are only a few bike companies that are pushing this.
    Depends what you mean by pushing. If you mean actively promoting it and trying to get people to switch, you're probably talking about Gary Fisher, WTB, Niner and a handful of small frame builders.

    If you're talking about peddling (no pun intended), you're talking about pretty much everybody.
    [quote]



    Quote Originally Posted by Bob Dopolina View Post

    Tire makers don't want to make a separate designation for the same 700c (622) tires. I'm sure dealers don't want to have to stock even more tires just because it says 29 inch on the side.
    The do quite readily. It means more sales.

    Component makers are being forced to come up with products that will differenciate the 29er from a 26"MTB. Based on the fact that 29er sales are minute in the grand scheme of bike sales yet these companies are being forced to to risks in a flat MTB market, who is benefiting?
    Exactly WHO is forcing a component manufacturer to do anything. Is there some law I'm unaware of that compels a tire maker to make 29er tires? BTW, the "special" components in question are: rims, forks, tubes and tires. That's it!!!!

    I don't think this is a fad. Fads come in fast and go out fast. 29ers have been a steadily growing movement for quite some time. It has gotten to the point where it's easier to talk about the companies that are NOT making 29ers then the companies that do.

    ,
    As to whether it is a fad or not, if sales don't pick up significantly, if they don't become totally mainstream, they will be left to the niche market frame builders.

    I would like to hear from some industry folks about their experience on the sales floor.
    When short travel suspension frames became efficient, the performance hardtail became extinct. This left a price-point whole on the sales floor. I think that manufacturers have realized that an "exotic" 29er bike can effectively fill that whole. The reason that stock 29ers are expensive is NOT inherent to the size of the wheels. They are expensive because manufacturers put higher end components on then and deliberately market them as "premium" items (rightfully so in my opinion).

    The other genre that the 29er has filled is the "back to basics" singlespeed. The larger wheels allow one to roll on rougher train without suspension. A 29er singlespeed is relatively cheap and makes a great addition to the "stable".

    Given that the 29er models just keep increasing, I think you can officially put a fork in this "fad" argument. They're here to stay and if you ask me they're likely to eventually take over the XC market as quality bike companies are eager to distinguish themselves from the crap sold at Wal-Mart. A different wheel standard is an ideal way.

    29ers are now starting to creep their way into Downhill. I believe once some higher spoke count wheelset are available there, you'll see 29ers take over Downhill as well.

  16. #16
    On-One/Titus USA
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bob Dopolina View Post
    This is a carry over from another thread that I hijacked with this discussion. To sum up:

    I don't want to focus on whether the 29er is cool, or a good idea or on the ride of the bike. I am wondering who is driving this fad. Is it being driven by the marketing guys at the bike companies in the US or is it a consumer demand thing. I would really like to hear from shop staff about the end-user feedback they are getting on these bikes and all the products surrounding them.
    Not a fad and the 29er trend is being driven by hard-core riders/users. They have been around (with "The Tire") for ~8 years, longer with narrower tires. Have gone mainstream in the last 2-3 years.
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  17. #17
    biked well well biked's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by DMF View Post
    Seems to me that one big advantage of the 26" is lower center-of-mass.

    Yes/no?
    The Fisher frames, anyway, keep the same approx. bb height as a typical 26er, so they're designed to keep the rider's weight, relative to the axles, as low as possible. Fisher's also use long top tubes/short stems to keep the rider weight behind the front axle as much as possible. The result is a more stable bike than a typical 26" XC mountain bike.

  18. #18
    Senior Member JonathanGennick's Avatar
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    Look at the road bike market where people have been riding 700mm tires forever and a day now. There is no movement in the road-bike market to go to a smaller diameter tire. People riding long distances (e.g. on roads) over relatively even ground (roads again) have clearly settled upon the larger tire size. That's true in the road-bike market; I believe the same will happen in in the cross-country, mountain-bike market. What's good for the road rider is good for the trail rider. Freeride and downhill I'm not so sure of yet, but I truly believe that the larger tire size will eventually dominate in the cross-country market.

    26-inch tires will probably never go away, because of the need to accommodate smaller riders, teenagers, kids, etc. Years ago, when I was a kid, bikes were sized solely by their tire size. You moved up from 12 to 16 to 24 to 26 inch tires as you grew. Then we got into making different frame sizes for different size people. We'll still need different frame sizes, but I foresee a day when people worry about getting the correct combination of frame size and tire size. 29ers will dominate. 26ers will hopefully get a bit more attention than 24ers do today.

    Perhaps you could argue that we really need a rim size for mountain bikes that gets us to the same 700mm tire size that road riders. I don't see that happening though, not in a big way. The 29 inch size has become ensconced, and there's too much efficiency to be had from usig one size rim in all cases. So my prediction remains that 29ers will come to dominate the cross country mountain bike market.

  19. #19
    Custom User never's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by JonathanGennick View Post
    Perhaps you could argue that we really need a rim size for mountain bikes that gets us to the same 700mm tire size that road riders. I don't see that happening though, not in a big way. The 29 inch size has become ensconced, and there's too much efficiency to be had from usig one size rim in all cases. So my prediction remains that 29ers will come to dominate the cross country mountain bike market.
    29er rims ARE the same size as 700 rims.

    And I think you're on crack to make such a prediction...but what do I care...cross country is gay and I ride all mountain

  20. #20
    Official Website Waterboy born2bahick's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by JonathanGennick View Post
    . What's good for the road rider is good for the trail rider. Freeride and downhill I'm not so sure of yet, but I truly believe that the larger tire size will eventually dominate in the cross-country market.
    Awesome!

  21. #21
    Light Makes Right GV27's Avatar
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    A 700c road tire and a 26" mountain tire are pretty close to the same outside diameter. I've always been under the impression that that's why they went for that size in the first place (don't quote me on that - just always seemed logical). A road tire is something in the neighborhood of 31" OD, while a 29" mountain bike tire is what......33" or 34" OD?

  22. #22
    Gravity hunter dminor's Avatar
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    Myself, I see more value in the 69er-like approach, at least for DH . . . except I am more intrigued with a 650B front now:

    http://www.bikeradar.com/news/articl...tb-tires-11794

  23. #23
    Too Much Crazy
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    Diameters;

    'road tire' 700x23 = 26.6''

    26'' x2.25 mountain tire = 26.3'' (hence the term 26'')

    29'' x 2.3 mountain tire = 29.5 (hence the term 29er)

  24. #24
    Sir Fallalot wroomwroomoops's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by DMF View Post
    Seems to me that one big advantage of the 26" is lower center-of-mass.

    Yes/no?
    Perhaps. But what I see as an advantage of 26" wheels is they are much stronger than 700c.

  25. #25
    Too Much Crazy
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    Quote Originally Posted by GV27 View Post
    Try that again - 26 x 2.25 means the tire is 2.25 inches wide and fits on a 26" diameter rim. Assuming the tire is roughly circular in cross section, that means it is roughly 2.25" tall. Take that times 2, since it sticks out on both sides, so 26 + 2.25 + 2.25 = 30.5". Doing the same for 29 x 2.3 = 29 + 2.3 + 2.3 = 33.6"

    A typical road bike tire is something a bit less that 1" wide (like 21mm or 23mm) but being charitable 29 + 1 + 1 = 31"
    yo b1tch! don't dis my maths'

    A traditional mountain bike rim diameter isn't 26'' you dumbass. the tire is. the rim is 559mm (22'') diameter

    same thing with a 29er. The rim is 622mm (24.5'') diameter.

    Go Here and then come back and have an informed discussion if you will.

    Otherwise, please stop typing incorrect information

    edit: I see you deleted your post. Luckily I had already snipped it.
    Last edited by C Law; 08-15-07 at 01:12 PM.

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