29ers

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ddraver
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Re: 29ers

Postby ddraver » Sat Nov 17, 2012 15:54 pm

Well you re more connected that me Sonic, so I ll bow to your knowledge, but I don't think that's likely is it?

I get the feeling that European Brands are still very much behind 26in, even if our US cousins are not.
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supersonic
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Re: 29ers

Postby supersonic » Sat Nov 17, 2012 16:02 pm

Doddy from MBUK thinks that 26er will be dead in a few years (according to Shaggy Will), and he is a lot more connected than me lol. Maybe they will become niche products, a bit like high end steel frames? Hopefully there will be 3 sizes of equal share, but I can't see manufacturers producing 3 of each, and it would be a nightmare for shops and stock.

I place a lot of emphasis on weight, and I love that snap acceleration out of corners that my bike gives. It feels a bit more dulled with a larger size. Question now is: why don't I ride a 24 inch wheel then? Well, the 26er gives me the best of all worlds I feel, and seems more agile. Same goes for 650b for some people, and 29er for others. If bigger/smaller was better, the sizes would be more polarised than they are.

In addition, and it sounds insane, I have toyed with a custom build with 24 inch front wheel and a longer fork (not on the Zaskar!). Steve Worland tried this once, said it was a lot of fun and worked well! To add to that, I think dual wheel sizes will become more common too.

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Re: 29ers

Postby ddraver » Sat Nov 17, 2012 16:04 pm

Do you think it will be in favour of 29ers (or any other wheel size) only? Or will it be a 29/27.5 mix?
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Re: 29ers

Postby supersonic » Sat Nov 17, 2012 16:09 pm

Too early to tell for me - the 650b size is gaining momentum, with taglines like 'the best of both worlds'. I can't see the likes of Spesh backing down from what they have done, but I get the feeling they have put their eggs in one basket which may be to their detriment in the future. With some saying one size is better than the other, it is confusing the market though.

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Re: 29ers

Postby ddraver » Sat Nov 17, 2012 16:15 pm

I can't see the industry breaking away completely from what consumer want though, If the majority of british riders either stick with or buy niche 26ers, I can't see the big boys just ignoring that and stubbornly offering 29ers only, but again, I'm not in a position to know...
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supersonic
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Re: 29ers

Postby supersonic » Sat Nov 17, 2012 16:18 pm

I am in no better position than you though really (or anyone!) with regards to reading the market and seeing what is out there on the trails.

The long travel hardtail is quite focused to the UK, and quite a few people still produce these, so I would hope that the UK market is listened to. I definitely do think that brits don't like being told what to ride!

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Re: 29ers

Postby njee20 » Sat Nov 17, 2012 16:48 pm

The issue as I see it (and I've mentioned it before) is innovation in 26". SS you say you like the snap out of corners, but what if no one continues to push 26" wheels?

Tune are introducing new ultra light XC wheelsets, but only in 650b and 29". If Stan's drop the Podium MMX you could get 29er wheelsets lighter than 26".

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Re: 29ers

Postby supersonic » Sat Nov 17, 2012 16:58 pm

If 26ers die off I will be extremely disappointed. I would be forced to go for 650b, if I carried on in the sport. The cynic in me thinks that the manufacturers know full well that they are still popular and perform well, but by killing them off and pushing other sizes so heavily they force many people to change their bikes.

Luckily I can still (just!) get V braked equipped stuff lol.

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Re: 29ers

Postby njee20 » Sat Nov 17, 2012 17:04 pm

I don't think they'll die off, but I can really see companies stopping to innovate in 26" and dropping certain products (like XC race bikes and bits).

V-brakes is a good example - you can get disc rims weighing 100g+ less than even the lightest v-brake rim. Yes you can still get bits, but disc parts are often lighter.

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Re: 29ers

Postby supersonic » Sat Nov 17, 2012 17:11 pm

I like the simplicity of Vs - it is only in the last 4 years I have gone to discs. They have got much better and lighter though!

For XC and riding on the lanes on my Zaskar LE, the Vs work perfectly. And I think for a lot of people, who want to ride like this, they are still a good idea.

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Re: 29ers

Postby njee20 » Sat Nov 17, 2012 17:29 pm

Oh yeah, not disputing why someone would want to run v's, just saying that it's a good example of something where initially there were weight advantages, but innovation just stopped dead! M980 brake levers are essentially the same as M950s from 1997! 26" bikes of some ilks (ie XC race bikes) could go a similar way.

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Re: 29ers

Postby supersonic » Sat Nov 17, 2012 17:36 pm

Same with gears, more is better. Well now less is more, with more at the back lol, ie 1x11. This is an innovation in my book, big range that can be had with one cog. 10 speed though? A lot of bumph with that.

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Re: 29ers

Postby mattpage » Sat Nov 17, 2012 18:13 pm

Torres wrote:The test looks like the most scientific that's been done to date; but I agree with the comment at the bottom of the article; publishing the power data would make the analysis better.

After all; it's all well and good saying 29ers are faster, but if you're putting in more effort then of course that's going to be the case.


As shown in the printed article, power output was kept as consistent as possible across all 12 laps.
Average power was 227 watts, +/- 1-2 watts. Given the constant power and nature of the climb average power is the same as normalised power.

I could make graphs available, but to be honest its pointless. The absolute numbers are all that is needed.

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Re: 29ers

Postby Torres » Sat Nov 17, 2012 18:47 pm

Cheers Matt, I haven't seen the printed article so I'm not sure what information was presented. What I was getting at was being able to see a comparison of both the lap times and the average power output for the lap. I know it's impossible to replicated the same power output in these types of test; but seeing as the margins aren't really that significant I was concerned that a small variation in power could be causing a bias.
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njee20
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Re: 29ers

Postby njee20 » Sat Nov 17, 2012 18:52 pm

Not if it's 1-2 watts variation, I'm bloody impressed Matt could keep it that consistent :-)

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The Rookie
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Re: 29ers

Postby The Rookie » Sat Nov 17, 2012 19:21 pm

Very Impressive.......

26ers at the lower end will stay for a long time - there is too much tooling laid down, but yes advancements may stop, I can also see a lot of people using 26" in a 27" (650B - it's not 27.5" that's just conveniant for marketing) frame as it will just mean an extra 1/2" clearance which is hardly a gaping chasm, The data really does suggets that 650B is the best of both worlds, in fact you could say the best of all three as you could have the same bike with 650B and 26" wheelsets for it depending on what you want on a particular ride!

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Torres
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Re: 29ers

Postby Torres » Sat Nov 17, 2012 21:10 pm

njee20 wrote:Not if it's 1-2 watts variation, I'm bloody impressed Matt could keep it that consistent :-)


Ah sorry, I thought that was the average for the whole test, not for each run. In that case that's bloody impressive!
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Re: 29ers

Postby RIKO » Sat Nov 17, 2012 21:12 pm

Having ridden a couple of top end 29ers (Santa Cruz Tallboy and Intense Spider) I can see if you are doing a lot of miles they could be a good option and at speed they feel good (tbh they should at that price!) However I felt a slower speeds they felt very "big" (and I'm 6" 2") and the Intense particularly felt quite ungainly. I certainly wouldn't change from my current 26" wheel bikes which feel a lot more chuckable and more fun.
My biggest issue at the minute is the way the industry is trying to shove the new wheel sizes down your neck. They say it's from rider demand which with 29ers there was with companies like Niner, I don't see this with 650b plus whole ranges seem to be going to one wheel size so the whole wheel size choice idea seems to be going out the window. And this is coming from someone that is really into new bike tech!

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Re: 29ers

Postby The Rookie » Sun Nov 18, 2012 13:33 pm

Just figured my 26" frame will happily take a 65B wheel and tyre......so I'm future proofed on my 2006 Carrera!

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Re: 29ers

Postby RockmonkeySC » Mon Nov 19, 2012 19:28 pm

I don't think 26" will die. There are too many 26" bikes in use, and will be for at least another 10 years for wheel and tyre manufacturers to stop development & production.
Big wheels don't work too well on DH bikes at the moment either because of the longer chainstays needed with a big wheel and 8" - 10" suspension. The idea of needing less travel with big wheels doesn't work when you're using that travel to soak up big landings to flat. Also the gyroscopic effects at 40+mph will be much greater.
I'm not convinced by 650B, I don't see that it's going to be noticeably better than 26". I will try one though.
The only change bigger wheels has meant for me is that I'm now saving my MBUK subscription because I got so bored of reading the same articles about why you have to have bigger wheels every month.


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