Euros on 29ers

Like europeans, I'm not a fan of 29er bikes. It's not because they look goofy/geeky, it has more to do with the trails we have here. I like my trails twisty with lots of up and down, sharp corners and not much flat. The trails make 26" wheels faster with the constant re-acceleration, quick change of direction and for steep climbs and lighter wheels is always a bonus.

When looking at race courses in California, it's a whole different game. No roots, smoother surface, and bigger radius turns seems to be the norm. So in adapting to the course, even some traditionally 26er riders judged Sea Otter as a good place to try the big wheels. The course was good for it and the race was not one of their season's goal. Burry Stander won the XC event on big wheels and Roel Paulissen was riding a Cannondale Flash 29er. My guess is they'll probably be back on normal sized wheels once they're back on more technical courses but it's nice to see them try new things...


Jason said...

I think of the 29'er as half way between a normal XC mountain bike and a Cyclocross bike. It makes sense for some kinds of riding but hopefully UCI will keep mountainbike courses technical enough to continue to mainly favor the tradtional 26" wheels.

Carl Buchanan said...

I'm not a huge fan of the 29er either as I have only ridden one that actually felt "right". The rest of them just had an odd quirk here or there that I couldn't seem to get used to. Sure would like to give the Flash 29er a ride though. :)

I usually say some to the effect of "to each their own" when it comes to the 29er vs. 26er debate. I do not believe that a person will become a race winner strictly because they are on one bike or another or because of the wheel size. I wonder how many of them choose the 29er or 26er vs. how many are paid to ride the 29er or 26er.

Dan Gerous said...

I gotta agree with you Carl, what works for me might not work for someone else and what makes the most difference is the legs and abilities of the rider.

And no one should choose his personnal weapon by what pros do, often, they are paid to ride something, some forced to ride FS over hardtails even if they'd prefer hardtails, same thing with wheel size. And professional pros will tend to say only good things about what their sponsors provide them.

In the end, whatever you ride, as long as you're having fun!