If in case you have taken even an off-the-cuff curiosity in mountain bikes over the previous few years, you’ve gotten most likely heard of the pattern to a much bigger wheel measurement, the 29er. Extolled by many and detracted by a number of, the decision is now clear: Mountain bikes with 29-inch wheels are right here to remain.
Whereas claims that the normal 26-inch mountain bike is headed for extinction could also be untimely, there isn’t a doubt a lot of mountain-bike patrons who’re voting for the 29er.
The Execs and Cons of Larger Wheels
So what’s the attraction? 29ers provide a number of massive benefits over their smaller-wheeled siblings:
- Higher momentum as soon as rolling, which means extra progress for much less effort and sooner rolling over open terrain.
- A bigger tire contact space on the path, giving higher traction and management when climbing or cornering.
- The next “assault angle,” which means the wheels roll over path obstacles with much less influence, decreasing fatigue and smoothing out the path.
Riders report 29er offers a sense of enhanced stability and management, reducing the “sketchiness” of the driving expertise. This implies fewer on-trail panic assaults and extra confidence and luxury.
Sounds nice, however what are the downsides? The tradeoffs are minimal: a small weight penalty for the elevated wheel mass and barely slower preliminary acceleration from a cease. That’s it!
Who Can Trip a 29er?
Many individuals can get match on a 29er, however there are fewer sizing choices for brief riders (male or feminine). Why?
The primary difficulty is the standover clearance. A 29er is commonly taller than a comparably sized 26-inch wheel mountain bike and could also be too tall for smaller riders. Toe overlap with the bigger wheel and an incorrect handlebar peak are different potential considerations for shorter riders. Many 29ers are due to this fact obtainable in medium, giant and extra-large frames, with small frames and girls’s particular frames simply beginning to catch on.
If you’re below 5’6” tall, a 26-inch mountain bike continues to be more likely to be a greater match. For those who’re 5’6’ or taller, you must be capable to discover a 29er mannequin to fit your needs. Riders greater than 6’ tall can rejoice: You’ll positively get pleasure from a extra pure driving place with the scale and body geometry of a 29er.
The way to Store for a 29er
Selecting a 29er is similar as deciding on any bike: Know your driving intentions and the way you need to use the bike.
Not all 29ers experience comparably. As with all class of bikes, some fashions are lighter, sooner and nimbler than others. Some 29ers are designed for racers, others for weekend fans and nonetheless others for infrequent riders who need one bike to serve a mess of functions. Examine the product descriptions on fitnessinf.com for assist with these specifics.
At present, the commonest 29-inch wheeled mountain bikes are hardtails (bikes with entrance suspension solely). Full-suspension fashions have gotten more and more frequent as appropriate suspension and body designs evolve.
If you’re tempted to easily improve your current bike, take into account that you would wish greater than larger wheels. Sadly, 26-inch wheels and 29-inch wheels are usually not interchangeable on a body, since frames and suspension are designed to accommodate a particular wheel measurement.
It’s greatest to debate model and mannequin choices with a educated gross sales specialist (at fitnessinf or different specialty bike outlets) to get an understanding of the connection between bike high quality, efficiency and value. Slim your choice to 2 or three fashions and you’ll want to take a take a look at experience to search out out which one feels proper.
fitnessinf affords a choice of 29er mountain bikes for the price range aware (beginning round $600) to the dedicated fanatic ($2,000 and up). Manufacturers represented embrace our personal Novara model plus bikes from Cannondale, Ghost, Diamondback and Salsa. Be aware: Bike availability varies between fitnessinf shops and fitnessinf.com; some fashions might have bought out for the season.