OK, I'm a road rider (and a returning newbie, at that) looking for a decent mountain bike. I'm not going to do anything too radical with it, but I'm thinking a set-up with some level of full suspension for mainly XC-style riding would be fine. Don't plan on racing but like the idea of having a rig that *could* be used for racing.
Anyway, having read through different threads, etc. on the forum I understand that frame is probably of paramount importance. But I'm curious what the general opinion of the Fisher 29" wheels over traditional 26" wheels is? I've read the marketing blurbs about the Fisher 29" wheels, sounds good but it doesn't seem like people are rushing out to get the larger wheels, seems like the 26" work just fine. And is Fisher the only stock maker who builds them? And I noticed that it looks like Fisher is only going with a couple of hardtails and a couple of full-suspension (Sugar 292, 293) for 2005, seems like they are scaling back their 29 offerings.
So I'm interested in opinions, pros and cons on the 29ers; especially if you own one or have ridden one. What appeals to me is that it "seems" like you could go faster and easier to ride over moderate obstacles. I rode a SuperCaliber 29er (my LBS's personal mountain ride) and it was fine but the frame too big; I preferred the medium-frame C-Dale because it fit better and I'm waiting to try out a Fisher 29er in my size.
You know, didn't seem to be any great shakes over the C-Dale speedwise. But the fact that I haven't read too much about riders converting to 29" wheels makes me think there isn't too much advantage to them for mountain biking. Maybe the 29" wheels makes it too much like a hybrid?
Bikes I'm looking at C-Dale Scalpel, Specialized Epic, Fisher 293, maybe Giant NRS and Trek Fuel.