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MTBs & 29ers

Old 01-18-17, 01:52 PM
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rumrunn6
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MTBs & 29ers

anybody own & ride both a 26" old school mountain bike & a modern 29er mountain bike?

if so, how do you decide which one to ride?

Last edited by rumrunn6; 01-18-17 at 06:46 PM.
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Old 01-18-17, 02:08 PM
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I have a 26er and 29er. I prefer the 26er and right now the other isn't getting any action.
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Old 01-18-17, 04:01 PM
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29ers are mountain bikes.
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Old 01-18-17, 04:10 PM
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I have a 29er MTB.

I also have a number of 29er road bikes, and a 29er track bike, although I usually refer to those as 700c...
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Old 01-18-17, 04:18 PM
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I have all three 26er, 27.5, and two 29ers. I prefer the 29ers but that has more to do with the components, fit, and geometry than the wheel sizes. My 26er is old as hell and worn out and the frame on my 27.5er is too small.
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Old 01-18-17, 06:00 PM
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was confused by the question but from the responses I think I get it.


Assuming the OP refers to MTB as having 26" wheels. I sold two of those to move to a 29 full suspension rig, love it.
My two other hybrids are 700cc machines...not meant for anything dirt.
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Old 01-18-17, 06:45 PM
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c'mon there's got to be somebody who owns & uses both but decides which one to ride based on something they can share
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Old 01-18-17, 07:48 PM
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Originally Posted by rumrunn6 View Post
c'mon there's got to be somebody who owns & uses both but decides which one to ride based on something they can share
What are you asking? 29ers are mountainbikes with wheels using a 700c rim. Your question makes no sense whatsoever. If what you are trying to ask is 26-inch vs. 29-inch wheeled mountain bikes that question has been asked and answered a million times since 2005.
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Old 01-18-17, 08:34 PM
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I can say this- I had a 26er Specialized for years that I loved. tried and entry level (deore 10 speed, solo air fork) and loved it so much I sold the 26er. Not sure if my size / terrain has a bit to do with it. I'm 6'4 & ride the rocky north east.
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Old 01-18-17, 08:36 PM
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It's totally a personal preference. I like the feel of a 26er much more than a 29er. I feel it is more nimble and I enjoy being picky about my lines. I have a feeling 27.5 is a great balance between the two but buying one is not in the cards for me for awhile.
Just pick a wheel size and go with it
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Old 01-18-17, 11:55 PM
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I use the 29er for fast, relatively simple rides and the 26" for slower, more difficult rides. I still have a wider selection of tires for the 26", which sometimes is the deciding factor. Would probably use the 29er more if it had a more driven frame design.
Still, If I'd ridden a GOOD Fat Bike first, I'd never have bought the 29er.
The 29er doesn't really add any riding terrain compared to the 26", something a Fat Bike does.
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Old 01-19-17, 06:17 AM
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I have (3) mtb's, a 26x4 fat tire, a 27.5x3 plus and a std 29er and all three are for different rides.
Basically, the fat bike is for snow or muddy rides, the 27.5 is my new "go to" bike and the 29 for fast rides on flowing trails.
I think the OP is asking what makes these bikes different and the best answer that I can offer is the 26" turn faster but do not roll as easily over some obstacles on the trails. Most modern bikes are 27.5 or 29" but I think there are a lot of good 26" bikes out there and they are better than riding nothing.
Go ride a few bikes and get what feels good under you and don't worry about trends or fads, get what works for you.
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Old 01-19-17, 08:30 AM
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thanks guys this is helpful

btw drives me crazy when my boss asks a question or wants some info but doesn't tell me why. sometimes I need that context to better provide info. but I didn't want to introduce any distracting personal factors with a long explanation. I just wanted the answer to the question & these answers help a great deal:

"the fat bike is for snow or muddy rides, the 27.5 is my new "go to" bike and the 29 for fast rides on flowing trails"

"I use the 29er for fast, relatively simple rides and the 26" for slower, more difficult rides. I still have a wider selection of tires for the 26", which sometimes is the deciding factor. Would probably use the 29er more if it had a more driven frame design" not sure I know exactly what a "more driven frame design" means. I get the feeling the 29ers are big, heavy, not nimble, but great for blasting down relatively straight unpaved trails w mixed, compromising surfaces

"I like the feel of a 26er much more than a 29er. I feel it is more nimble and I enjoy being picky about my lines. I have a feeling 27.5 is a great balance between the two" ah nice, something else to look into

"I had a 26er Specialized for years that I loved. tried and entry level (deore 10 speed, solo air fork) and loved it so much I sold the 26er. Not sure if my size / terrain has a bit to do with it. I'm 6'4 & ride the rocky north east" but I would think "rocky" would be better served by the smaller wheel? no?

the reason I was asking is because I have experience with 26" old school mountain bikes & lately 700c hybrids. lately I've been riding unpaved rail trails w the hybrids & having a lot of fun. these trails are flat, mostly level, not technical & I don't get lost. one hybrid w 700x45 tires has been my go to bike for these trails & has been doing great. however, I've seen 29ers on the same trails & started to wonder if I should sell the hybrids & look for a used 29er. & if so, why. a wider tire would be one reason, especially now that a little snow has showed up here & there. but not sure I want to go thru that process of shopping, paying for & setting up another bike right now.

I found a cpl near me but finding a big enough frame is the challenge. lots of 18" 29ers out there but I need more like a 22". these are also expensive & one can get a used 26"er" for short money. I sold the one I had last spring in a fit of stable thinning
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Old 01-19-17, 08:35 AM
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Originally Posted by FrozenK View Post
26-inch vs. 29-inch been asked and answered a million times since 2005
sorry about that, I'll dig more
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Old 01-19-17, 07:45 PM
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I've seen 29ers on the same trails & started to wonder if I should sell the hybrids & look for a used 29er. & if so, why. a wider tire would be one reason, especially now that a little snow has showed up here & there. but not sure I want to go thru that process of shopping, paying for & setting up another bike right now.


Manufacturers are making bikes for specific purposes. Its a ton of information to process for a relative newcomer to the industry. Your 700cc tires are essentially 29. If you continue to ride the terrain you do a 29'er will not really improve your experience per se, but does depend on your riding goals and skill set.
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Old 01-19-17, 08:20 PM
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Originally Posted by rumrunn6 View Post
the reason I was asking is because I have experience with 26" old school mountain bikes & lately 700c hybrids. lately I've been riding unpaved rail trails w the hybrids & having a lot of fun. these trails are flat, mostly level, not technical & I don't get lost. one hybrid w 700x45 tires has been my go to bike for these trails & has been doing great. however, I've seen 29ers on the same trails & started to wonder if I should sell the hybrids & look for a used 29er. & if so, why. a wider tire would be one reason, especially now that a little snow has showed up here & there. but not sure I want to go thru that process of shopping, paying for & setting up another bike right now.

I found a cpl near me but finding a big enough frame is the challenge. lots of 18" 29ers out there but I need more like a 22". these are also expensive & one can get a used 26"er" for short money. I sold the one I had last spring in a fit of stable thinning
if the trails are flat why would you need suspension? And iff you can afford a new bike just for the few days a year the trail is muddy, I envy you ... but wouldn't it be cheaper to get a rigid framed bike with more tire clearance than paying for a fork you don't need?

People have explained it perfectly: 29ers are great on fast, flowing trails, 26 on tighter trails with a lot more acceleration/braking/tricky obstacles.

My take is, a 26 can do anything a 29 can but might take a bit more effort on the small bumps, while the 29er will take more effort on anything tight and technical ... so where do you ride most and which do you prefer?

When I decided to get another MTB I figured I'd rather have a little edge on the tech stuff than the top speed stuff, and I shopped around to find a super deal on a used 26 ... but I really don't believe I would enjoy riding less if I had bought a 29er.
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Old 01-20-17, 07:58 AM
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Originally Posted by stoplight View Post
[COLOR=red]Your 700cc tires are essentially 29. If you continue to ride the terrain you do a 29'er will not really improve your experience per se, but does depend on your riding goals and skill set
I was thinking it would let me get wider tires, but I could get wider tires with a cheaper 26er
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Old 01-20-17, 08:04 AM
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Originally Posted by Maelochs View Post
if you can afford a new bike just for the few days a year the trail is muddy, I envy you ... but wouldn't it be cheaper to get a rigid framed bike with more tire clearance than paying for a fork you don't need? 29ers are great on fast, flowing trails, 26 on tighter trails with a lot more acceleration/braking/tricky obstacles
price aside, a 29er would provide an advantage on unpaved rail trails over my current 45mm wide 700c tires. but one can not put price aside, especially not me, not right now. but as a typical junkie I could find a way to buy another bike anyway. I can sell 2 to buy 1 for example.

tomorrow will be a good test cuz the trails are predicted to be their softest since I started riding them this fall when it was dry
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Old 01-20-17, 01:01 PM
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found a cpl possible used 26" bikes. any opinions? one is a Novara Aspen-S (w Trek suspension fork) the other is a Specialized Rockhopper
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Old 01-20-17, 02:31 PM
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I had a 26 and thought I'd ride it once I had my 29er. Not the case, sold it almost right away and it was a good bike too. The 29er was all-around better to me. It was too weird switching between the two as well.
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Old 01-20-17, 04:58 PM
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Originally Posted by rumrunn6 View Post
found a cpl possible used 26" bikes. any opinions? one is a Novara Aspen-S (w Trek suspension fork) the other is a Specialized Rockhopper
20+ year old, lower end mountain bikes in average condition. Someone is bound to wax poetic about them, but at the end of the day they are still 20+ year old, lower end mountain bikes.
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Old 01-20-17, 08:06 PM
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Originally Posted by FrozenK View Post
lower end mountain bikes
talking to a junkie & that's all I can spring for my next fix. it is what it is. either better over the other? I would gravitate toward the shock fork
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Old 01-20-17, 08:47 PM
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Originally Posted by rumrunn6 View Post
talking to a junkie & that's all I can spring for my next fix. it is what it is. either better over the other? I would gravitate toward the shock fork
I would gravitate toward saving more money and buying something decent.

And I'd avoid ****ty suspension forks.
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Old 01-20-17, 09:06 PM
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I'd suggest deciding to make the purchase, then waiting until a Really sweet deal came along ... something well-maintained, not ridden too hard, low-mileage ...

I got this, seven years old, hardly a scratch, Industry Nine wheels ... satisfyingly under four figures because I waited for the right moment and seized it when it came.

Wait for a better deal ... a 25-year-old entry-level bike will probably make you unhappier than you are now.
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Old 01-22-17, 03:36 PM
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Originally Posted by rumrunn6 View Post
found a cpl possible used 26" bikes. any opinions? one is a Novara Aspen-S (w Trek suspension fork) the other is a Specialized Rockhopper
Like most junkies, you'll regret buying lousy stuff even if it means you got your fix.

What I would want for the riding you described is a 29er hardtail. 26 favors more technical riding where acceleration is more important than keeping speed.

One with a lockable fork would be perfect and useful on a lot of different terrain from mildly rocky and rooty, to fast and flowing, to sidewalks and horse paths.
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