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Old 05-07-09, 06:28 AM   #1
Azul the Cat
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School me on a 29er

Lacking a specific 29er forum, and search not producing many usable results, I come to you the Mountain Biking forum for help.

I have thinking about adding a 29er to the stable. What manufactures should I be looking at? I am looking for something entry level, bu not bottom of the line. Something that may be worth upgrading as I grow with the bike. Whats the thinking when it comes to SS vs. gears. I have been riding fixed gears for SS a little bit now, and I like the idea of having at least 1 bike with multiple gears. IS it worth starting with a rigid fork on a suspension correct frame then upgrading later, or just go for suspension out of the box? Anything else I need to be thinking about?

TIA
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Old 05-07-09, 08:46 AM   #2
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I had the same train of thought before getting my 29'r. I decided on a Motobecane Fantom 29, check the bikesdirect site for their models. It's an entry level bike, I'm very happy w/ it, it's been a learning experience as far as seeing what I want in the future matched to the kind of riding I primarily do.

switching from a 26 to the 29 has the unbeleivable advantage of ground clearance, especially w/ a bash ring on it. I no longer give a thought about pedal placement when going over logs or thru rock gardens - ok, a little bit of thought but not much. Bunnyhopping the thing is a downside for me, hard to get both wheels off the ground at the same time. That should change when I go clipless.

As far as suspension, it all depends on how rough your type of trail system is I think. For me, I can see my next bike being a full susp Niner.

Good luck!
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Old 05-07-09, 01:47 PM   #3
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29ers are a nice development as far as mtbs go, but i don't know if they're really worthy of a separate forum, no matter what the other sites are doing. Really, regardless of wheel diameter, a mountainbike is a mountainbike.

the main advantages of the 29er, as we've heard over and over again, is that they roll over obstacles better, and the BB height relative to the axles creates a lower center of gravity, which improves handling under certain circumstances. the drawbacks are that, if you're short, they won't fit you, and the long wheelbase of many models will make the bike less flickable. Also, many 29ers have issues with fitting front derailers, but many modern ones do not.

A lot of SS ppl love the 29ers because the larger wheel will allow for the greater retention of momentum, which is very important on a SS, and also important on a geared bike. I set my 29er SS up with the exact same gear-inches of my old 26" SS, but the thing felt faster/better because you keep rolling better with the bigger tires, even on smooth terrain. Many 29ers are offered as SS (or 1x9s), possibly for this reason, or possibly because of the aforementioned trouble that some manufacturers have with front derailers. But, really, there is no reason why a 29er "should" be SS, or "should" be full-rigid. (although, imho, there are reasons why a SS "should" be full-rigid.)

As for brands, almost everyone seems to have them now, and most seem to have modernized their geometry. An exception is the Surly KM, which offers *less* ground clearance than most 26ers, and is plagued by weird drop-outs and front derailer issues. (I love surly, i own a LHT, but i don't dig this 29er). Still, most ppl who own the KM love it to pieces, and to be honest, i've never ridden one. There were too many flaws on paper for me to spend $420 on that frame.

Niner does 29ers, and 29ers only. I sort of lust after the MCR9, with its reynolds 853 tubeset. Theydo 29ers in steel, aluminum, ss, geared, full-suspension, etc. They are sold as frames-only, which appeals to me, but maybe not to most folks.

Vassago makes some very popular 29ers, and these are value-priced framesets.

Gary Fisher, like some other manufacturers, claims to have "invented" the 29er. This seems quite unlikely, but GF did bring about the first commercially successful, mass-produced complete 29er. They have 3 or 4 models to choose from these days.

I ride a cheep-@$$ redline monocog. The base model. I bought a frameset for $200, new, and built it up with decent stuff. Vbrakes, SS/fixed gear flipflop, hone cranks, whatever. I like it alot, but i do consider switching the frameset for something lighter/hotter at times. A friend of mine built up the monocog flight (with the sliding dropouts) as a 3x9. No problems with the front derailer; he really likes the bike, but he did have trouble with the sliding dropouts.

Many 29er frames are available with the option of going either SS or geared. Some examples use track-ends with a derailer hanger (eg, Surly KM, On-One inbred). Others use Eccentric Bottom brackets (eg, Salsa mariachi, some of the Niners). Still others use the aforementioned sliding dropouts (redline MC flight, voodoo's steel 29er, kona unit). If you get any of these, there will be compromises, but you can set it up as a SS initially with a converted gear-friendly cassette wheelset, and add derailers later if you like. Or, do the same thing in reverse-order.

Sorry about the long post. There are waaaay too many 29ers available today for any single post of normal size. Perhaps, if you posted what you're looking for in a 29er (in terms of material, suspension, dropouts, geo), we can steer you towards a few leads...

hth
-rob
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Old 05-07-09, 02:01 PM   #4
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surreal: that's a damn helpful post. You should copy/paste it and save it to a txt file somewhere. Then when someone asks a 29er question just paste and submit :cool:
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Old 05-07-09, 02:18 PM   #5
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haha, thanks. I just might end up doing that. I hope that the OP finds it helpful, as well.

-rob
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Old 05-08-09, 04:38 AM   #6
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Very helpful. I think my next stop is the LBS to do some test rides.
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Old 05-08-09, 08:10 AM   #7
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I kicked around the idea if getting a 29r....then I rode a few. Just not for me. But I did like the Redline 1X9, that was a cool bike.
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Old 05-08-09, 08:20 AM   #8
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Pricepoint has the SETTE 29er frame that has gotten good feedback at the MTBR 29er forum. Cheap and light.

I would recommend a Steel frame.
how much are you looking to spend?
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Old 05-08-09, 08:42 AM   #9
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Bunnyhopping the thing is a downside for me, hard to get both wheels off the ground at the same time. That should change when I go clipless.
?? Isn't your front wheel supposed to launch first?
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Old 05-08-09, 11:11 AM   #10
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for the record, with clipless pedals and cheeter-style methods, i can bunnyhop my 29er with ease

-rob

*edit* and i'm a heavy dude, with lazy tendencies

Last edited by surreal; 05-08-09 at 11:12 AM. Reason: forgot key information
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Old 08-03-09, 09:57 AM   #11
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Zombie thread!

I took my Moto Outcast out yesterday. I have a love/hate relationship with it given it's a full rigid SS bike. I hate it in theory, but in application I love it.

I rode in the Santa Cruz Mountains, and if you're at all familiar, you get to some wicked single tracks via a state park called Wilder Ranch. I climbed aaaaallll the way up to find I went the wrong way, had to descend via some hard packed single tracks and turn around at the bottom to go aaaaalll the way back up. I was so impressed with the way it climbed. Granted, I use a 32/22 gearing, but it's necessary at times!

Descending with any amount of speed can be jarring without a front suspension, but I ride BMX... who's complaining? Clearance and momentum is just outright sick, and blasting out of turns makes me feel like I'm riding my Honda CRF250X.

I have the cheapest most basic bike out there - and I cannot complain one bit! I was suprised I ddin't see more 29'ers on the hill and how many stares my bike got.




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Old 08-03-09, 10:01 AM   #12
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Yes, add one to your stable. And, please, be sure to call it a 'steed' or, better yet, a 'whip.'
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Old 08-04-09, 05:57 PM   #13
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I putz around on a Fuji Tahoe Comp at work, love the way it feels. Although a parking lot is no place to get a decent feel for a bike. I'm giving some thought to picking up the Outland RC 29'er. It reminds of my Jeeping days when bigger wheels/tires were just cooler and more desireable.
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Old 08-05-09, 11:41 AM   #14
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My 2 cents which in reality dont amount to much...

Bianchi had a 29'r back in the 80's. Well, sort of. It came with 700c wheels.
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Old 08-05-09, 07:00 PM   #15
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I've been quite pleased with my 29er (Gary Fisher Rig).

I do a lot of racing on it, and the biggest thing I've noticed is that it really holds speed versus a 26" bike.

I'm not the best rider, so if the course is more technical I go for my other bike (Trek Top Fuel 8) since its a bit more forgiving.
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Old 08-12-09, 04:19 PM   #16
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bump...good thread
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Old 08-24-09, 11:25 AM   #17
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Beginner question here: I'm 5.9 with a 31" inseam looking to get my first 29er. Looking at the Redline or the Motobecane Outcast. What size frame do I need?
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Old 08-24-09, 11:40 AM   #18
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Beginner question here: I'm 5.9 with a 31" inseam looking to get my first 29er. Looking at the Redline or the Motobecane Outcast. What size frame do I need?
I'm the same measurements and I ride a 17" or an 18", depending on the length of the top-tube. My Outcast is a 17"
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Old 08-24-09, 01:35 PM   #19
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. . . and blasting out of turns makes me feel like I'm riding my Honda CRF250X.
That's because it's a four-stroke .






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Old 08-24-09, 02:31 PM   #20
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That's because it's a four-stroke .






DOH! I used to ride a two stroke, then a switched to four and never going back.
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Old 08-24-09, 06:10 PM   #21
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I am new to the sport, but have some buddies that are way into it. This bike sort of fell into my lap when a local shop had to liquidate some stock...Rockhopper Comp Disc 29er...$600.

I really like the bike and have put over 600 miles on it in less than 2 months. My original thought was to hang on to it and upgrade parts as they break, but I may build a lighter bike over the winter.


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Old 08-24-09, 06:11 PM   #22
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I'm also 6-4 and well over 200lbs.
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Old 08-24-09, 06:21 PM   #23
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29ers are sexier and aesthetically more appealing. If you are a grown man around 5'10 to 6'1 I think you would appreciate a 29er more. Lance rode a 26er at leadville though, and I often wonder what his take on 29ers are...someone would really twitter lance and get him to ride a 29er on the next leadville...it might give the whole 29er idea a leg to stand on.

I think 26ers are a tad better on the acceleration...but like others said...it's easier to keep momentum on a 29er supposedly.
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Old 08-24-09, 06:32 PM   #24
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29ers are sexier and aesthetically more appealing. If you are a grown man around 5'10 to 6'1 I think you would appreciate a 29er more. Lance rode a 26er at leadville though, and I often wonder what his take on 29ers are...someone would really twitter lance and get him to ride a 29er on the next leadville...it might give the whole 29er idea a leg to stand on.

I think 26ers are a tad better on the acceleration...but like others said...it's easier to keep momentum on a 29er supposedly.
It's because Lance is sponsored by Trek and trek doesn't do a full on 29er. If he was sponsored by Fisher, he'd probably be on a 29er.

To be honest, I'd like to see the 29er craze die down some. Yes, I'll admit it, it's a viable choice for wheel size, but there is no need for the companies to be shoving the 29" wheel size down everyone's throat. I'll keep my 26" wheels.
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