29ers are for Old Fat Guys
Having ridden 26ers and having a blast and then switching to a 29er I found noticeable changes. All of that has been noted above. Except no one talks about the fun factor of the 26er. It is so much more nimble, shorter wheel base, and bunny hopping is a breeze.
I have been riding a full suspension Niner Rip 9 for a week and find it to climb VERY well, but not on tight turns. It descends fast and does well over large bumps but with no feel. The bike feels dead, no pumping it to go fast in gullies, jumping it over small obstacles or rocks is a hassle, the bike sticks to the ground... it doesn't want to leave the ground actually. It doesn't turn well at fast speeds when making a quick move is necessary. I am not sold on them...
That's why all old fat guys ride them, because it makes you seem like a better rider (when you are not) especially in a climb and this makes you a weaker rider. So for those of you who love adrenaline and have some sort of skill, you will enjoy the good ole 26er MUCH more!! Its fast, responsive, and won't kill you when you try to turn, the 29er bike goes straight and requires much body english and throwing your weight to turn the bike when going fast. Just my 2 cents...
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