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29er vs 26, opinions???

TeeBike2011-08-24 21:20:29 +0000 #1
First, I apologize if this thread is somewhere in the discussion board, I tried to search for it!

I'm a 5'2 rider who is looking for a new hard tail mt bike to adventure race and do endurance mtb races. After getting opinions from bike shops and other riders (male!), I'm still confused at what type of bike I should be looking at. Some argue with my size (short) I won't notice any benefit from a 29er, is this true?? Will I compromise anything on the bike ie frame, components for the bigger wheels? I need a light bike that climbs well! I currently ride a Trek 26 Hardtail and love it but it is old needs replacing, and heck new bikes are always nice!!

Any opinions, help etc would be greatly appreciated!!
jessmarimba2011-08-24 21:35:05 +0000 #2
I love a 29er, but they're not for everyone. I appreciate the ability to climb, but I've heard that it's harder to get the wheels rolling (I don't notice, but it makes sense).

You certainly won't sacrifice components for bigger wheels, but 29ers for shorter folks can be harder to come by. It depends on the brand, but I (at 5'7") usually take a small frame if I'm going with 29in wheels. A few brands have started making WSD 29ers (I know Trek & I think Specialized, at least) and you may want to check those out first. I don't know anything about weights though. My current bike is a tank.
Irulan2011-08-24 21:41:35 +0000 #3
29ers for little people ARE out there. There's an extensive discussion in the mtbr women's lounge. My good friend C. is 4-11 and loves her 29er.
Aggie_Ama2011-08-24 21:54:29 +0000 #4
I am 5'2.5" and LOVE my 29er. My inseam is 29", one of the girls on my race team is 5'2" with a 27.5" inseam and loves hers. My 29er is my first race geometry so I don't know if that changes it from my 5" travel bike I previously raced but I think the 29er climbs better, is responsive and shockingly nimble. They do feel different descending, which is what I am struggling with on mine after two months but getting there.

My bike is the Specialized Epic Comp, a "unisex" frame. I find even with a very short torso (perfect WSD candidate) I am not a fan of Specialized WSD geometry but I LOVE my Epic. It is the small which is 15.5" frame. Specialized will be rolling out a 29er WSD hardtail for 2012 and has a WSD Full Suspension in the Myka. However the Myka is not a race bike and that is what I wanted. I found I fit the Stumpjumper hardtail nicely in the 15.5" frame as well.

Hardtails depend on if you are willing to drop the money for carbon, my friend got a hardtail Specialized Stumpjumper Expert and it is around 24 pounds.
TeeBike2011-08-24 22:31:04 +0000 #5
Thanks all for the info! I did check out the discussion in the MTBR women's lounge which gave me some good info.

Amanda, thanks for the great info! How is the 29er different in descending? more unstable?? I will check out the Specialized. I know my LBS has the TREK WSD 29er X-Caliber but not sure if I should go WSD or unisex. My other 2 mountain bikes and road bike are WSD and I seem to have good luck and fits with those. and 24 pounds for a bike would be nice!

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