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  1. #1
    Join Date
    May 2013
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    2

    Any ladies out there prefer 26" tires over 29"

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    It appears the general consensus is 29 and I have demoed both with the 26 being a women's specific and had a lot of fun in the quick flowy parts, but had a hard time getting used to it in the rocky switchbacky stuff and am thinking at first the suspension was too soft, so after we fixed that it was better. I'm also thinking since it's so responsive and quick to change direction, everything happened faster which surprised me a lot.

    When I rode the men's Specialized Camber 29 I noticed it just rode over the big stuff so easily and seemed to be a smoother ride, less jarring than the women's Specialized Safire 26.

    As of right now, I am just confused, I thought I would fall in love with the women's 26 but felt pretty out of control, which had a lot to do with the suspension bouncing me around for a while til we stiffened it up a bit. Any experiences similar or strong opinions either way?

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jul 2012
    Location
    Houston
    Posts
    1,352

    Re: Any ladies out there prefer 26" tires over 29"

    My partner and I both ride a 26, but they are men's, not women specific. I think you need to try a lot of different bikes and brands to see what works for you. Not all 26 and 29ers are created equal. I prefer FS over HT. If I had the money I would have gotten a 650 :-)
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  3. #3
    Join Date
    Apr 2009
    Location
    Tucson, AZ
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    4,713
    29ers roll over stuff better because of the bigger wheel size. That's something to think about. But 26" wheels, for a given geometry, tend to corner faster. I want a hardtail 29er, I think, but everyone is different, and the terrain in your area will play a part in what you should be looking for.

    Try more bikes, both 26 and 29, both full-suspension and hardtail.
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  4. #4
    Join Date
    Nov 2009
    Location
    Indianapolis, Indiana
    Posts
    10,957
    I no longer mountain bike, but I prefer 26 over 29 inch tires because they do corner better (at least for me). The bouncing sounds more like a suspension adjustment issue or too much tire pressure for your weight than it does the size of the tires. I concur with the others, demo more bikes

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jul 2003
    Location
    Traveling Nomad
    Posts
    6,664
    I would not buy a 29er in part because I'm short, and I just don't believe the geometry would be correct for me. The other factor for me is the ease of storing/carrying the bike. A bike with smaller wheels is easier to fit inside a vehicle without having to lie it on its side. Not a factor if you have an outside rack, but we prefer to carry our bikes inside our vehicle for security. I would think a bike with 26" wheels would be a little lighter than with 29" wheels too, all other things being equal.
    Emily

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  6. #6
    Join Date
    Sep 2006
    Location
    Central Indiana
    Posts
    6,132
    Not to confuse you even more, but don't rule out 27.5 inch wheels either. A few companies--Jamis most readily comes to mind--are adding 650b wheels to their mtb mix. The marketing at least suggests that they might be a good compromise for shorter riders.

    I, myself, have only ridden 26ers. While I've been curious about 29ers, for now, I'm happy with my 26er. My husband, however, loves his 29er. A others have suggested, just demo all that you can.
    Live with intention. Walk to the edge. Listen hard. Practice wellness. Play with abandon. Laugh. Choose with no regret. Continue to learn. Appreciate your friends. Do what you love. Live as if this is all there is.

    --Mary Anne Radmacher

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Aug 2012
    Location
    Oregon
    Posts
    468
    I have both and I use them in different terrains. I use my 26 on the wet side of the state where I am frequently riding in mud/rain/places where I need a more responsive turn. I use my 29er on the dry side of the state. It's much easier to get over the lava rocks etc and get through the desert sand on that one.
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  8. #8
    Join Date
    Apr 2012
    Location
    Rowland Hts, CA
    Posts
    473
    Initially, I was really crazy for 29ers because I loved being able to roll over big roots going uphill vs. I just fall off on my 26er because I get bucked off of the big roots.

    However, as a 5ft1in female, the 29er made me feel less secure when cornering on the downhill switchbacks. The 29ers roll faster downhill and don't corner as well as the 26ers. I HATE going downhill fast. It scares the crap out of me! So, I guess I'm glad now that I did not buy a 29er.

    But, I think that I will test out a 650B this summer just for fun. Hopefully, I don't end up with buying yet another bike.
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  9. #9
    Join Date
    Sep 2006
    Location
    Central Indiana
    Posts
    6,132
    Quote Originally Posted by TigerMom View Post
    Initially, I was really crazy for 29ers because I loved being able to roll over big roots going uphill vs. I just fall off on my 26er because I get bucked off of the big roots.

    However, as a 5ft1in female, the 29er made me feel less secure when cornering on the downhill switchbacks. The 29ers roll faster downhill and don't corner as well as the 26ers. I HATE going downhill fast. It scares the crap out of me! So, I guess I'm glad now that I did not buy a 29er.

    But, I think that I will test out a 650B this summer just for fun. Hopefully, I don't end up with buying yet another bike.
    Ugh; I hate uphill roots. I did get better, finally, on one particular section of trail that has a lot of them, but I hate to psyche myself out every time.
    Live with intention. Walk to the edge. Listen hard. Practice wellness. Play with abandon. Laugh. Choose with no regret. Continue to learn. Appreciate your friends. Do what you love. Live as if this is all there is.

    --Mary Anne Radmacher

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Jul 2012
    Location
    Houston
    Posts
    1,352

    Re: Any ladies out there prefer 26" tires over 29"

    Quote Originally Posted by TigerMom View Post
    Initially, I was really crazy for 29ers because I loved being able to roll over big roots going uphill vs. I just fall off on my 26er because I get bucked off of the big roots.

    However, as a 5ft1in female, the 29er made me feel less secure when cornering on the downhill switchbacks. The 29ers roll faster downhill and don't corner as well as the 26ers. I HATE going downhill fast. It scares the crap out of me! So, I guess I'm glad now that I did not buy a 29er.

    But, I think that I will test out a 650B this summer just for fun. Hopefully, I don't end up with buying yet another bike.
    I vote that you do buy it because I really want one :-)
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    2013 Electra Verse

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Dec 2005
    Location
    New Jersey
    Posts
    1,940
    Hi Guys,
    I lurk more than post these days, but I had to weigh in on this one. I have both a 26er and a 29er. My 26 inch bike is a FS Titus RacerX ( named Gidget). Loved her and her alone until Big Red ( my hard tail Salsa 29er) came on to the scene 2 years ago. I too had trouble cornering at first. I likened it to driving an SUV as compared to a Mini. And then this guy on my team said, stop trying to turn it like a bike and ride it like a motorcycle. Lean into the turns. Worked like a charm on all types of terrain.

    This winter I had a longing for a full suspension, so the hubs dusted off Gidget, greased her up and off we went. I was miserable. Agile she may be, but on techy down hill stuff, the 9er is better. On techy uphill stuff, the 9er is better. If I point the 29er uphill to climb, that front wheel does not stray. So back into hibernation the 26er went.

    We passed her in the stable the other day and the hubs said...you gonna ride her again? My response...Can we trade her in for a full suspension 29er?

    We talked about getting a 27.5, but if you read the fine print on the specs, many of them actually measure out over 28 inches anyway. May as well go for it.

    (Just for the record, I am 5'3.)

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Dec 2011
    Location
    Southern NH
    Posts
    174
    Last year, when I finally decided that it was time for a new bike, I test rode the Santa Cruz Tallboy and the Yeti SB95. Both were great fun - I rode the SB95 down the single track trails on Burke Mt. in VT with a huge grin on my face the whole time - but I ended up with a 26" Yeti ASR 5.
    In the + column for the 29" bikes:
    They go over everything.
    Awesome climbing & fearless going downhill.
    In the - column:
    I love twisty, tight, technical trails and I found the 29" difficult to maneuver.
    They make things too easy, all you have to do is point & pedal. Now don't laugh at me when I say that! but I really enjoy the challenge of finding the right line & the victorious feeling when I finally clear a tough section.

    If I lived in an area with long, flowy trails, or if I lived on Burke Mt, I'd have bought a 29", but I am loving my regular, old 26" bike. :-)
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  13. #13
    Join Date
    Nov 2009
    Location
    West MI
    Posts
    4,308
    My first mtn. bike was a freakishly heavy and sluggish 26er...new ride is a faster/lighter 29er. It's hard to compare the two, since the 26 was such a dog on uphills and I struggled to keep up with anyone. I really like my 29er (well, I did before busting my wrist in Nov. I've not been on it a whole lot on trails since then, since my focus now is continuing to heal my wrist and train for an olympic distance duathlon in July), but I wish I'd had some 650/27.5 bikes to try, too. I'm just under 5'4", so something splitting the difference between 26 and 29 would likely have been ideal. The shop we'd frequented when I was shopping didn't carry any 650 models. The shop we are now frequenting (after a bunch of ugly politics had a lot of people jumping ship) does carry some 650/27.5 models. Bad timing.
    Kirsten
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  14. #14
    Join Date
    Nov 2002
    Location
    the dry side
    Posts
    4,403
    Anyone tried 27.5 yet? It's the next coming thing. There are a few out this year, more coming soon.
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  15. #15
    Join Date
    Dec 2006
    Location
    Columbia River Gorge
    Posts
    3,583
    My BF had a bike built for him that was a 29er and he just never felt right on it. So he built 650B (27.5) for it and he loves it now.

    I personally have tried a 29er but that was at least 2 years ago. I didn't like it at the time, mostly because it felt like it was big and handled awkwardly, especially for cornering. I think that companies are constantly improving the geometry. I still ended up buying a 26er for my last frame. I love that bike. It's tight, corners well and I can fly downhill. I wasn't willing to give up cornering for rolling over stuff, especially since I don't really have trouble with rolling on the 26. I did notice that getting my fork suspension dialed in on the 26 helped a lot with the feeling that I was getting bucked off obstacles with I was climbing.

    I am intrigued by the idea of building a 650b bike myself but...
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