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29er Mountain Bikes
29er Mountain Bikes

Selected 29er Mountain Bikes Online

As an avid cycling enthusiast it is important to always have the most comfortable and efficient mountain bike available. Most mountain bikes in use today are 26ers, however the 29ers are emerging as worthy rivals with a number of cyclists opting for them. Previously used on touring, road racing and hybrid bicycles, these large wheels are now gaining popularity. Note that all these have uniform diameter rims. So is switching to a 29er better? Let’s first try and understand what a 29er mountain bike is before answering that.

What are 29er Bikes?

The distinct factor differentiating 29er bikes is their large 29” wheels referred to as ISO 622mm or 700c wheels in technical terms. On the other hand, 26ers are normally called standard size. They have a 26” outside diameter also referred to as ISO 559mm wheels. At this point it is important to note that when we say 29er/26er wheels we are looking at the outside diameter. However, 29er bikes have bicycle tires with the same inner diameter but will have varying outer diameters.

29er Bikes Background

Initially most bicycle brands dismissed the new found liking for 29er as a passing trend.

This meant that only small and little known manufacturers concentrated on keeping this trend alive. Gary Fisher Bicycles, part of Trek Bicycles, was the first large manufacturer to toss their hat 29er manufacturing.

At first these larger tires could not be used on the smaller existing frames that had shorter wheel forks, their use was resigned to hybrid bike use. However Wilderness Trail Bikes introduce the first true 29er mountain bikes around 1999.

Today, most bicycle manufacturers, including Cannondale and Specialized admit that 29ers are here to stay; they now produce29frames and bikes.

29er Bikes vs. 26er bikes

We got the chance to get hands on experience of the difference between these two bikes on our bicycle tours in Slovenia last fall. Our group of eleven had nine 26ers and two 29ers.

Tip: Get a 29er hard-tail if…

29er Mountain Bikes
  • You are looking to use your bike for varied cycling on a variety of riding surfaces.
  • You are looking for a training bike to develop your riding skills.
  • You are looking for a capable mountain biking bicycle a a pocket friendly price.

It came as no surprise that with better rolling resistance and ability to roll over obstacles and improved stability, those with the 26ers claimed the bikes were better.

However, 26er enthusiasts argue that the reduced tire-toe clearance combined with the sluggishness and higher weight associated with the 29er makes it a poor option. The limited support available for 26ers also works against them but is improving every passing day.

29er vs. 26er Bikes Head to Head

Factor 26er 29er Comments
Ground clearance
The larger tires provide for a higher lower bracket and hence better ground clearance.
Availability of spares
Since 26ers have been the standard they are widely available. 29ers are growing in availability with popularity.
Retaining speed on rough terrain
Due to higher momentum attributed to their weight 29ers retain their speed over obstacles.
The bigger wheels and frames translate into a heavier 29er bicycle.
Smaller cyclists
Will be able to fit on 26ers better.
Taller cyclists
Will comfortably fit 29ers.
Acceleration and braking
Because of their greater mass 29ers are harder to accelerate and also brake from speed.
Ease of rolling over obstacles
The larger wheels on 29ers help to easily roll over larger obstacles.

As you can see, there are advantages and disadvantages to each bicycle type and though the verdict is not clear. Let’s try something else:

The Compromise – 96ers and 69ers

For those torn in between the available options then a compromise is available in their pursuit of the best mountain bike. The two options are combined in a bid to take advantage of their individual benefits.

  • The 96er variety features a larger front wheel-the 29” and a smaller rear wheel- the 26er. This accommodates a smaller wheel frame and additional rear suspension options.
  • The 69er variety is made up of a 26” front wheel, while the larger 29” wheel is fitted at the back.

These combinations allow for lighter bikes with some advantages of 29er tires. However riders are forced to always stock two types of bicycle tires when they go cycling.

Where to Buy 29er Mountain Bikes?

If you are interested in buying 29er mountain bikes you are invited to visit these trusted online stores:

29er Mountain Bikes
29er Mountain Bikes

29er Mountain Bikes on eBay


Establishing a clear favorite is difficult since most of the deciding factors are mainly based on personal preference. With the current debate on which bikes are better as well as whom there are suited to; I may still be sticking to my old and trusted 26er Santa Cruz Bikes, but I am not sure for how long.

“One of the most important days of my life was when I learned to ride a bicycle”
Michael Palin

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