The Revolution is well underway throughout the world. 29er Mountain bikes arent exactly a new thing but it has yet to really take of in Ireland or the UK. I dont understand why because for the terrain we have here 29ers are perfect. I started riding 29ers three years ago and although I have yet to buy my own I am still a big fan. The main reason I havent bought one is because any time I needed one I was lucky enough to have the loan of a bike for the occassion.
Why choose a 29er? First you have to ask yourself what you want out of a bike, what trails you are going to be riding and what type of terrain you are going to encounter. Some hardcore fans will have you believe that the 29er is the only bike needed for every type of riding. I dont agree, I think they have a place and until such times as the design is changed I cant see 29ers compete in the likes of a DH race. This probably will change because already we are seing more and more AM 29ers.
Benefits of a 29er
29ers have a much better rollover effect when faced with larger rocky terrain or rougher ground. You feel a much smoother ride when the front wheel rolls over this type of ground. There is a lot less movement in the bike and power can remain focused on going forward rather than bike correction along with pedal strokes.
Traction is a massive benefit with the bigger wheel. With more wheel on the ground it goes without saying that you are going to get more drive and more traction. The rollover effect and the traction coupled together gives another major factor in why the 29er works. Forward momentum!! The bigger wheels can carry the momentum along the climb or on flater sections more so than a 26 ever can. It is this forward momentum that can keep the bike moving faster and conserving a riders energy. The trick to the forward momentum is keeping the bike going learning to take the corners rather than stop start on trails. A 26 and a 29 from a standing start the 26 will win no doubt about that but at pace through a trail it has been proven time and time again that the 29er is a faster bike.
With new designs and better technology the bambi effect has been removed from the bikes. Some of the early 29ers hadnt the strength or components to make it feel comfortable. The feeling of movement when you didnt want it was enough to put a lot of riders off. This like any technology has changed massively now that the major designers can see the benefits of the big wheel.
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