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  1. #1
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    Have I bought the wrong bike?

    After some quick reading here, I'm having doubts about my choice for a 29er
    My original understanding/introduction(as per a LBS) to a 29er, was that a 29er simply refers to wheel size, and it plays no role when matching bike(frame only) to riders height, is this wrong?
    I'm 5'5" and just got a 29er
    What I thought was that it is faster and easier to ride over obstacles, I don't care for the faster aspect as I'm not racing now and have no interest in doing so, I'm just having fun on the trails, the easier over obstacles somehow seems to me to also translate as smoother rides less kicking and bouncing. Is this accurate?

  2. #2
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    I forgot to add...
    Observing other bikes and pics, seems like everyone have their seat either level or higher than the handle bar, on this new bike, I need the seat lower than the handle bar, is this a concern?

  3. #3
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    From what I understand anyone can ride a 29er (despite popular belief u need to be tall for one) however they are better suited to taller people, but its not a requirement.

    So you should be fine, if its to big for you it will be because you have the wrong size frame, not because its 29er I'd have thought.

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    Not that I'm saying it is to big as I am not an expert in sizeong blah blah blah.

  5. #5
    Pint-Sized Gnar Shredder Zephyr11's Avatar
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    Meh, preference. I'm 5'3 and am happy on both a 24" and 26". On the other hand, I have a friend my height who loves her 29er. The idea of wheels in proportion to the frame size (and person's size) makes sense to me, but yeah...preference.

  6. #6
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    Ok, cool, unfortunately I wasn't able to ride it today, rained pretty hard here when I left work, not to mention that the trail was already underwater from the rain yesterday
    I'll have to wait till tomorrow!

  7. #7
    Me and the cat... Pamestique's Avatar
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    I posted on your other thread - never second guess a bike purchase - it is what it is...

    29er were originally developed for taller riders - like guys 6'2" or taller - it has a taller bottom bracket than 26er. In the larger frames, the geometry is not so noticeble but when you try and add 29 wheels to a small or medium frame (you will generally not see them on an XS frame), alot of issues occur. For instance toe overlap. In addition a 29er does not handle as well as a 26er. 29ers go over obstacles better but you sacrifice handling, especially on cross-country trails. If you are rolling on fireroad downhill you should be OK. If you like to do swtichbacky stuff, its alittle more difficult. Again alot of inform on the internet about 26 v 29. But at this point just ride the darn bike and on your next purchase consider a 26er instead...
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  8. #8
    Me and the cat... Pamestique's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Pavao View Post
    I forgot to add...
    Observing other bikes and pics, seems like everyone have their seat either level or higher than the handle bar, on this new bike, I need the seat lower than the handle bar, is this a concern?
    what size bike did you buy... post photos...[if you did post photos since I am at work can't see them]. I don't think it is a concern. Because I have riser bars, my handlebars are higher than my seat as well but not much. The key is you can reach the handlebars, shifters and brake levels ever while pulling off the back of the saddle. If not, you bike maybe too big. At your height it should be at least a small frame...
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    Switchback is what, sharp turns, those 180 degree turns?
    The trails here are a combination of both I think, since it's pretty flat (South Florida), guys have to be creative when making the trails, so lot of man made obstacles and lot of switchbacks to maximise trail length in small urban park.

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    If you feel umconfortable while ride your nwe bike, maybe there is something wrong...

  11. #11
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    Do you have toe over lap? The 29er is not as nimble as the 26" wheel.

  12. #12
    Senior Member osco53's Avatar
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    Great advice Pamestique, the voice of experience !!
    Now for the rookie point of view Pavao,,,,, Ride the snot outta that 29er, ride it hard, It will teach you smoothness and flow.
    If It don't fit you Its the Bike shops problem. Ride the 29er HT a lot where it shines the most then tackle the tight stuff.

    The best saying I read was :

    29er's do all the boring stuff the best, 26er's do all the fun stuff the best.

    I ride central Florida, my 29er shines in sugar sand and down the jeep trails getting to the hard stuff. I work hard on the tight spots and that's good for me. I'm 6 ft and 175 pounds, my next bike will be a HT in the 650b category I think.. one day if I ever get bored with my 29er...
    Scott Aspect 940 29er, Tour Easy LE, Sun EZ-3 sx, Walmart Thruster :P

  13. #13
    Pint-Sized Gnar Shredder Zephyr11's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by osco53 View Post
    26er's do all the fun stuff the best.
    Try a 24". Hell, try a 20", though 20s feel a little twitchy coming off of a mountain bike.

  14. #14
    Two-Wheeled Aficionado ColinL's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Zephyr11 View Post
    Try a 24". Hell, try a 20", though 20s feel a little twitchy coming off of a mountain bike.
    I discovered last year, with sadness, that I can't ride my 1988 GT Pro Performer (20") any more. It's just way too small for me.

    But hey, my son will love it in a few years.

  15. #15
    The Left Coast, USA FrenchFit's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by osco53 View Post

    29er's do all the boring stuff the best, 26er's do all the fun stuff the best.
    ..
    That's a great quote. For me, a 29er needs to be a size down to fit; the top tube reach of that 29er geometry is too great on all I've owned or ridden that were supposed to fit according to the fit charts. The large ones also feel sloppy on the trail. But, I admit to being a MTB wannebe, not a serious trail rider.

  16. #16
    Pint-Sized Gnar Shredder Zephyr11's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ColinL View Post
    I discovered last year, with sadness, that I can't ride my 1988 GT Pro Performer (20") any more. It's just way too small for me.

    But hey, my son will love it in a few years.
    Could always go for one the bikes with a massive top tube. 21.25-21.5" isn't hard to find, and if you look hard enough, you can probably even find a 22".

  17. #17
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    Not to repeat what has already been said, but it's the FRAME size that has more to do the right fit than the tire size. I prefer the 20/700C size as it does roll over stuff better and just feels better to me. I just switched from 26" to 700c and really am happier and more comfortable, although I can't do a U turn on the city trial any more

    If you can stand over the bar on the bike, reach the handlebar without a stretch and feel comfortable on it then it's probably the right fit for you. If the handlebars are all the way down, either by an adjustable stem pushed IN all the way or spacers ABOVE the stem and your seat is still too low then perhaps the frame is too large. Being above or below the bars depends on the individual bike, on a road bike with someone who is tall and long legged the seat will probably be above the bars. On a comfort hybrid the seat will likely be below the bars. If you can reach the pedal when it is in the 6 o'clock position and your leg is just slightly bent the seat height is right.

    A good LBS (local bike sop) can help you determine if your bike needs to be adjusted and would more than likely be delighted to sell you another one regardless

  18. #18
    Senior Member osco53's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by FrenchFit View Post
    But, I admit to being a MTB wannebe, not a serious trail rider.
    Don't play that self Importance game EVER !

    No such thing as a wannabe, when your out on the trail your doing it and that's all that counts..

    people love labels, why I don't know...

    I don't try to look serious, I'm too dang busy havin a blast ! I am NOT a 'Look At Me' person..
    Scott Aspect 940 29er, Tour Easy LE, Sun EZ-3 sx, Walmart Thruster :P

  19. #19
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    I'm 6'2" but my 29er makes me feel small and weak. I'm going to put 500 gram racing tires on it to help compensate.

  20. #20
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    I don't know about this wheel size stuff, but I know one of mine is a 29'er and it shreds some single track pretty good. So does my 26'er.

  21. #21
    Senior Member anthonygeo's Avatar
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    Have I bought the wrong bike?

    I had a 19" 29er and I'm a big dude but I always felt like I was hopping off the bike. I was glad I never wrecked it like my other bikes or I'd have junked my junk. I've gone back to a 26, maybe ill try an 18" 29er someday.
    6 Bikes Still Fat

  22. #22
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    Well, I have ridden the bike a few times now, like some suggested, the 29er makes the sharp cutbacks very hard to do with speed, sections that I would otherwise just "blast through" on a 26er without losing speed or momentum, on the 29er I definitely have to slow down. It feels like the front wheel have already gone too far into the curve before I have a chance to lean into it, specially when there's a tree or obstacle in the inside.
    Do you guys have a different approach or technique to deal with this that is different than on a 26er?

    But the good thing is, the bike is performing perfectly the way I wanted to in the sections that I really cared about, the 29er is in fact so much smoother riding these trails here in SFL, going over roots/rocks/obstacles are like night and day when compared to a 26er, if I'm losing momentum on switchbacks, that is gained right back on the obstacles, witch is where I wanted to improve in the first place, so, I'm very happy with it.

    The only rare(here anyways) type of obstacles that I have observed where the 26ers ride better are those man made wood bridges usually over a sandy area, where there is a "v" shaped section, everything else I like the 29er much better

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