29er Mountain Bike Fundamentals | REI Co-op

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When you’ve got taken even an off-the-cuff curiosity in mountain bikes over the previous few years, you may have most likely heard of the pattern to an even bigger wheel dimension, the 29er. Extolled by many and detracted by a number of, the decision is now clear: Mountain bikes with 29-inch wheels are right here to remain.

Whereas claims that the normal 26-inch mountain bike is headed for extinction could also be untimely, there isn’t a doubt numerous mountain-bike consumers who’re voting for the 29er.

The Professionals and Cons of Larger Wheels

So what’s the attraction? 29ers provide a number of huge benefits over their smaller-wheeled siblings:

Riders report {that a} 29er offers a sense of enhanced stability and management, lowering the “sketchiness” of the using expertise. This implies fewer on-trail panic assaults and extra confidence and luxury.

Sounds nice, however what are the downsides? The tradeoffs are minimal: a small weight penalty for the elevated wheel mass and barely slower preliminary acceleration from a cease. That’s it!

Many individuals can get a very good match on a 29er, however there are fewer sizing choices for brief riders (male or feminine). Why?

The primary concern is the standover clearance. A 29er is commonly taller than a comparably sized 26-inch wheel mountain bike and could also be too tall for smaller riders. Toe overlap with the bigger wheel and an incorrect handlebar top are different potential considerations for shorter riders. Many 29ers are subsequently out there in medium, massive and extra-large frames, with small frames and ladies’s particular frames simply beginning to catch on.

If you’re underneath 5’6” tall, a 26-inch mountain bike continues to be prone to be a greater match. For those who’re 5’6’ or taller, you need to be capable of discover a 29er mannequin to fit your needs. Riders greater than 6’ tall can rejoice: You’ll positively get pleasure from a extra pure using place with the dimensions and body geometry of a 29er.

Selecting a 29er is similar as deciding on any bike: Know your using intentions and the way you need to use the bike.

Not all 29ers experience comparably. As with every class of bikes, some fashions are lighter, quicker and nimbler than others. Some 29ers are designed for racers, others for weekend lovers and nonetheless others for infrequent riders who need one bike to serve a mess of functions. Verify the product descriptions on REI.com for assist with these specifics.

At present, the commonest 29-inch wheeled mountain bikes are hardtails (bikes with entrance suspension solely). Full-suspension fashions have gotten more and more frequent as appropriate suspension and body designs evolve.

If you’re tempted to easily improve your current bike, remember the fact that you would want greater than larger wheels. Sadly, 26-inch wheels and 29-inch wheels aren’t interchangeable on a body, since frames and suspension are designed to accommodate a particular wheel dimension.

It’s finest to debate model and mannequin choices with a educated gross sales specialist (at REI or different specialty bike retailers) to get an understanding of the connection between bike high quality, efficiency and worth. Slim your choice to 2 or 3 fashions and make sure to take a take a look at experience to seek out out which one feels proper.

REI gives a choice of 29er mountain bikes for the finances acutely aware (beginning round $600) to the dedicated fanatic ($2,000 and up). Manufacturers represented embody our personal Co-op Cycles model plus bikes from Cannondale, Ghost, Diamondback and Salsa. Notice: Bike availability varies between REI shops and REI.com; some fashions might have bought out for the season.

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