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Old 03-23-11, 09:33 AM   #1
superslomo
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29er question

This may have been asked a billion times, but why is it that 29ers are generally more expensive than other equivalent 26" wheel bikes?

I'm looking to add an MTB after years of roadie-ness and commuting, mainly just for banging around fire roads/carriage roads and doing the odd bit of singletrack near where we've just moved (lots of great trails, not so many great roads to ride on immediately nearby)... I'm tall, I'm not doing crazy technical stuff, and preferred the idea of a 29er, but am perplexed by why the same exact bike spec-wise is so much different in price the moment you add in the bigger wheel...
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Old 03-23-11, 10:35 AM   #2
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Are they? What examples are you looking at? It used to e that a lower production run of 29ers might make them more expensive, but I would think that's less the case now than say 5 years ago, at least with hardtails. My hunch is that there are other reasons certain bikes you're looking at are more or less expensive. People focus on drivetrain, frames, forks, but what about brakes,wheels, even tires?
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Old 03-23-11, 10:41 AM   #3
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The local shop carries Kona... since I'm not wise to how to fit myself, and wouldn't mind the free tune-ups, and since they are good dudes all around, I was considering the Mahuna or Kahuna. I'd prefer 9 speed, since that's what I have on my spare wheels from my touring bike... give me the option of a spare set, though they are non-disc.

I think the parallel in 26'ers would be the Nunu and Fire Mountain, they are disc and one is 8 speed, one is 9 speed. The differential is about $160-$200 between one and the other in each range. I'm not sure whether the specs bear that out, or whether it's just a sort of 29er markup. I will say the bottom end XC Hardtail in 26 is definitely lower-end than the bottom end XC Hardtail 29er, so that might bear out the concept.

I'm not conversant enough in the gear to have a strong opinion on quality of components here... I would prefer 9 to 8, but it's not life and death for me... my road/touring bike is a 9 speed as well, so having chains and cassettes in common makes my life a little easier.
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Old 03-23-11, 02:41 PM   #4
Max C.
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From personal experience, I know Giant's 29ers aren't much more than their equivalent 26er. You may want to check to see if some of the secs are different between models and as a result raise the price. I.e. the Giant Talon 29er has a lockout front suspension whereas their equivalent 26er doesn't.

Wheel sets and tires are definitely more but I'm sure that's mostly because of less demand.
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Old 03-23-11, 05:23 PM   #5
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The Kahuna has significantly better specs than the other three. The cindercone has very comparable specs and is exactly the same price, 1099 dollars. Whether 26 or 29, the better drivetrain, fork, brakes, and maybe wheels are well worth the extra few hundred dollars or so over your other options. At least they would be to me. In fact the Cindercone and Kahuna seem to be pretty good deals all around.
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Old 03-24-11, 02:12 AM   #6
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From what I noticed the 29ers seem to be "Loaded" models Mine came with Lockable Forks, Disc Brakes, Shram Shifters, and of coarse the Wheel tires ARE more expensive
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Old 03-24-11, 07:46 AM   #7
superslomo
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Thanks for the assistance parsing out the specs... I don't know the comparables on componentry without loads of searching, so it makes it clearer to understand.

I don't know whether it's simply a desire to be contrary, but I would prefer a 29er for my purposes... Rollability, stability, and proportion to my height for the frame size all seem like pretty good calls to my mind. As long as I can get the tires and components just as easily, I think it's a done deal.
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Old 03-24-11, 06:51 PM   #8
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I like 29ers over 26ers for the reasons you mentioned slomo. They're very comfortable to ride .
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