So, maybe you've heard about these 'new' 29ers or 29 inch mountain bikes. Maybe you know some people that ride them or better yet, maybe you've even had a chance to ride one. If you meet any of the above descriptions, you've likely been introduced, possibly quite fanatically, to the 29er revolution.
You see, people who ride these 'big wheeled bikes' not only love to ride them, but they love to tell all their fellow 'small wheeled bike riders' about how much better they climb, how much better traction they have, how you hold your momentem better through the rough stuff and so on.
I for one, am one of those people.
Being a strongly built tall guy, I finally retired my 26 inch wheeled 'circus bike' in 2008 and have not looked back. My level of riding instantly rose to another level as the 'endo' factor of my previous circus bike all but disappeared and I finally had the traction I needed for those tougher than tough climbs. I had read about all the praise before the conversion but was still utterly shocked at just how much better these big-wheeled bikes were.
Well, hold it right there, most people say. If these bikes are really so good, why are most people still riding 26ers and even more so, why are all the top XC riders still not using them? These are very valid questions indeed. For some answers to these questions, Richard Cunningham of Mountain Bike Action recently put out an article in the most recent edition to help shed some light on the situation and predicts, along with Chris Sugai of Niner Bikes, that the 26 inch wheeled hardtail will be dead on the cross-country sceen and the 29er is here to stay. It is funny now watching all of the major bike companies jumping on the train before they miss out like Santa Cruz who said that they would never ever build a 29 inch bike...
I would highly recommend giving the article a read which can be accessed from the Niner website, or following the direct link here.
There was also another interesting article posted on VeloNews that I would highly recommend.