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Old 07-13-11, 08:22 PM   #1
Cellar
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29er hardtail vs 26 FS, given these types of trails.

Hey everybody,

I needed some input on a bike purchase I'll be making soon...hopefully in the next two days. I've been on the fence for some time about getting a Cannondale 29er Flash 2, or a RZ 120 2. I would be riding mostly singletrack and some downhills. I've been told that 29 hardtails are perfect for the area, but the full suspension bike I tried worked out really nicely too. There aren't any 29's available to be demo'd.

Any suggestions?

Thanks!
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Old 07-13-11, 08:27 PM   #2
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26 fs
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Old 07-13-11, 08:29 PM   #3
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26 fs
Thanks, but why?
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Old 07-13-11, 09:47 PM   #4
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I'm tall (6' 3") and I like my 26 FS real well. The area I ride has some quick switchbacks, pot holes and lots of rocks. I think I am doing as well as the 29ers, but I might be delusional. The 29ers are here to stay and may one day bury the 26. I will be buried clipped into my 26. Its just what I'm used to is what my main reason breaks down to.

I think the 29ers are coming into their own as far as rims and other gear made specifically for a 29er set up. At first the parts were 26er stretched. They are started to figure out the differences in geometry. OTOH, 26 equipment is refined to the max.

How old are you and how aggressive a rider are you?
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Old 07-14-11, 06:03 AM   #5
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29 is more fun on long stretched out rolling trails. 26 is more fun on tighter more technical trails. That's just one man's opinion, though.
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Old 07-14-11, 02:52 PM   #6
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A 26" full suspension bike is never really the wrong bike to have, unless you're unwilling or unable to set up and maintain the suspension properly. I think that's one of the main reasons 29" hardtails are catching on so rapidly. Many riders just want the smoother ride without the expense and maintenance of top notch rear suspension. Of course, a hardtail is a hardtail and you will have to stand up more and learn to unweight the saddle.
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Old 07-14-11, 07:40 PM   #7
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A 26" full suspension bike is never really the wrong bike to have, unless you're unwilling or unable to set up and maintain the suspension properly. I think that's one of the main reasons 29" hardtails are catching on so rapidly. Many riders just want the smoother ride without the expense and maintenance of top notch rear suspension. Of course, a hardtail is a hardtail and you will have to stand up more and learn to unweight the saddle.
Uuuh, this is like a really good explanation of the difference IMHO.
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Old 07-14-11, 09:09 PM   #8
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I'm tall (6' 3") and I like my 26 FS real well. The area I ride has some quick switchbacks, pot holes and lots of rocks. I think I am doing as well as the 29ers, but I might be delusional. The 29ers are here to stay and may one day bury the 26. I will be buried clipped into my 26. Its just what I'm used to is what my main reason breaks down to.

I think the 29ers are coming into their own as far as rims and other gear made specifically for a 29er set up. At first the parts were 26er stretched. They are started to figure out the differences in geometry. OTOH, 26 equipment is refined to the max.

How old are you and how aggressive a rider are you?
Thanks for the replies everybody! I'm 26 and enjoy riding pretty aggressively. I like climbs, but still have a lot of work to do on them, but I really enjoy the ride down.
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Old 07-15-11, 06:21 AM   #9
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Why not a 29 FS? I have ridden all and would never buy another 26" mtb. The 29" tire size is superior. It rolles over obstacles much better, it rolls up to speed much quicker and the extra volume takes bumps better with less speed loss. Yes a small 26" wheel is slightly quicker responding in turns but I ride some very technical and fast downhill sidetracks and the 29er can do anything the 26 does and better.

I currently ride a 29er HT but the 29er FS technology has caught up to the point that I will be building a 29 FS this winter. I would look at the Giant Anthem 29er FS the price is reasonable and the suspension is very nice. I demoed one the other day and was more than impressed.
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Old 07-15-11, 12:20 PM   #10
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What about the Jamis 650b full-sus?
Reviews of it are pretty stellar. If I had the cash for it, it would be on the top of my list.
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Old 07-15-11, 10:10 PM   #11
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Both superb bikes, although you honest to goodness cant go wrong with either I think the 26FS will give you just a little bit more room to explore and take risks in the technical downs than a HT.

I have both these class of bikes (different brand) and it's hard to choose one over the other. Both climb like billy goats with the slight edge maybe going to the 29er HT, the 29er will make you grin with what you will find you can roll over that you would otherwise had expended some extra energy and skill on a 26" HT. For me both bikes allow me to better manage my energy expenditure give me cush to manage hits and impacts that I would otherwise have noted on a 26" HT. You'd be happy with either interchangeably in most scenarios but I'll give the edge to the 29er when you have to go up but the margin of safety, forgiveness and comfort when going down steep, rocky and rooty declines to the FS.. The truth about a HT still remains...it is hard. Cushy tires are not to be under-appreciated, they mean everything with regard the enjoyment, comfort and control you have on your ride and IMO the biggest factor in making a good bike great but there is more forgiveness on a full squish.

I'll vote RZ 120 if the coin is okay with you. Truthfully you cant go wrong with either, gawds honest truth, they complement each other so well that their envelopes overlap up to the 90-95% mark. 29er for UP and DOWN, 26 FS for bumpy, chunky, "OH $#!t" downs. Neither bike for hucking, big drops or general clumsy boulder bashing.
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