You have likely heard about the rise in popularity of larger wheels, the 29er if you’ve taken any interest at all in mountain biking over the last few years. The verdict is in: 29-inch mountain bikes are here to stay, despite being praised by some and denigrated by others.
Although it is possible that the 26-inch mountain bike may soon be extinct, there are still many mountain bike owners who support the 29er. Let’s dive into our post to learn more about what is a 29 mountain bike as well as its pros and cons.
What is A 29er Mountain Bike?
A 29er bike is a mountain bike with 29-inch wheels. These bikes are designed for off-road riding, and they offer a number of advantages over other mountain bike designs. 29er bikes roll over obstacles more easily, and they provide better traction and stability on rough terrain.
They also offer a smoother ride on paved roads and trails. 29er bikes are available in a variety of styles, including hardtail and full-suspension models.
- Larger wheels offer better traction and stability
- 29ers are often more affordable than other mountain bikes
- Heavier weight can help with downhill biking
- The larger wheels can make the 29er more difficult to maneuver
- The extra weight can be a disadvantage in uphill biking
- Some riders find the 29er to be too big and bulky
History of 29er Bikes
While the cycling business and culture have generally accepted the larger wheel size, there are still many traces of the 29-inch wheel’s contentious past.
A fast search on 29er wheels is likely to turn up hundreds of articles describing and discussing their virtues.
The 29er needed to first establish its worth in a society where 26-inch wheels were the norm.
The ideal wheel size for mountain biking in its formative years was 26 inches. A small number of the movement’s founders had ideas about a larger wheel and what it might accomplish for the sport, but they lacked the resources to put their thoughts into action.
26-inch rims were reputable, generally accessible, and affordable. In addition, no one could produce a competitively priced tire that was appropriate for a 29-inch wheel.
For many years, the 29er concept was put on hold, but ultimately businesses took a chance on prototypes, and 29ers started to slowly acquire traction in the market, even though many of them believed the technology was just a fad.
The late 2000s marked the beginning of the 29ers’ rise to respectability. Because the “fad” just didn’t seem to fade away, more and more businesses experimented with their own versions.
The knowledge base expanded and resulted in geometry advancements that let the larger wheels demonstrate their capabilities. Soon, many began to question whether 26-inch wheels still had a place in mountain biking, as well as whether the 29er was here to stay.
Another new wheel size, 650b, or “27.5 inches,” was starting off on the same path toward global recognition as 29ers gained popularity.
The ultimate mountain bike wheel argument by the middle of the decade was between 650b and 29ers, with 26-inch wheels losing virtually all of their appeal.
Although few would make the bold claim that 29-inch wheels are the best option in every mountain biking circumstance, the performance advantages of 29ers have solidified their position at the top for many riding types.
What’s A 29er Bike Used For?
29er bikes are often thought of as being better suited for technical climbs than their smaller-wheeled counterparts. There are a few reasons for this.
First, the 29er’s larger wheels roll over obstacles more easily. This can be a big advantage on rocky or root-filled trails.
Second, 29ers tend to have longer wheelbases, which provide stability and traction on steep climbs.
Third, the 29er’s higher center of gravity can make it easier to keep your balance when climbing. And finally, the 29er’s larger wheels can provide more momentum, making it easier to keep moving forward on tough climbs.
Traction on loose terrain
29er bikes offer incredible traction on loose terrain thanks to their larger wheels. This is especially beneficial when riding on technical singletrack or in muddy conditions. The added traction of 29er wheels can also help you maintain control on steep descents.
Stability on descents
29er bikes are often lauded for their stability on descents. This is due to the fact that 29er wheels have a larger diameter than 26″ wheels, which results in a longer wheelbase.
A longer wheelbase provides more stability when descending at high speeds, as it gives the rider more time to react to changes in terrain. Additionally, 29er bikes tend to have lower bottom brackets, which further increases stability by keeping the rider’s center of gravity low to the ground.
Speed and efficiency
The larger wheels of a 29er bike roll over obstacles more easily than smaller wheels, and the bike requires less effort to maintain speed.
The longer wheelbase of a 29er bike also provides more stability at high speeds and makes the bike more capable of carrying heavy loads. The increased stability and speed of a 29er bike make it an ideal choice for long-distance riding, racing, and touring.
Benefits Of 29 Inch Mountain Bike
Although they might not be right for everyone, there are clear benefits to 29-inch wheels in certain areas of mountain biking. What exactly are the benefits?
Rollover Ability: The attack angle is the angle formed by a round object touching a square object. This determines a wheel’s ability to roll over. With their larger diameters, 29-inch wheels have a lower attack angle. This means they can be rolled over obstacles such as roots and rocks with less impact. Riders on 29-inch mountain bikes will experience a smoother ride, and less fatigue from bumps, if everything else is equal.
Grip: A 29-inch wheel has a wider circumference which means that it has a greater surface area and more contact with the ground. Comparing similar tread patterns and widths, 29ers offer more traction to bikes with smaller wheels.
Speed: Although smaller wheels may have an advantage in acceleration, 29-inch wheels are faster overall due to the increased rolling inertia. On open terrain, 29ers can cover greater distances with less effort and reach higher speeds faster.
Stability: 29ers are able to hold their lines with great rollover power, traction and stability. The bike is more stable on rough terrain and has a better connection with the trail. This makes it less likely to be impacted by obstacles.
Check out our post: what size bike do I need if you haven’t chosen your right bike size yet.
Which Competitions/Events can 29er Bikes Be Used In?
In which MTB Competitions can 29ers participate?
- UCI Mountain Bike World Cup
- UCI Mountain Bike World Championships
- Olympic Mountain Biking
- Enduro World Series (EWS).
- Megavalanche Alpe d’Huez
- Red Bull Rampage
- Crankworx Competitions
Which MTB disciplines can 29ers be found in?
- Downhill MTB
- Cross Country (XC), MTB
29er vs 27.5″ Mountain Bikes
|Better for enduro & XC races
|Increased traction is possible with a larger tyre
|Better for bike park riders
|More fun on technical trails with rock gardens
|More suitable for flow trails than technical trails
|For tall riders, this product is better
|Better handling and control
|For downhill riders who are looking to go fast
|Less suitable for long intense races
|Faster top speed
|More suited for shorter riders
|Large obstacles can be crossed with a greater angle of attack
|Lighter and more maneuverable
How Tall Should You Be For A 29 inch Bike?
For those who want to know how tall to ride a 29er, it will depend on the bike you are looking at.
EWS riders such as Dimitri Tordo (4th Overall EWS 2019 Canyon Collective) have shown that 29ers don’t just work for tall people.
A 27.5-inch or 26-inch might be more comfortable for you if your height is less than 5’6′.
A 29er bike will fit you well if you are 5’6” tall or higher.
To answer your question, mountain bikers who want to ride a 29er bicycle should be at a minimum 5’6”. Remember to ride multiple bikes before you decide on the right one for you.
How To Shop For A 29er
The 29er is just like any other bike. Know your riding goals and how you plan to use them.
All 29ers are not equal in their riding abilities. Some models are lighter, quicker, and more agile than others, just like any other category of bike. Some 29ers are made for racers while others are for weekend enthusiasts. Others are for casual riders who need a bike that can serve multiple purposes. These details can be found in the REI.com product descriptions.
Hardtails, which are bikes with front suspension only, are currently the most popular 29-inch-wheeled mountain bikes. As suitable suspension and frame designs improve, full-suspension models will become more common.
You might be tempted just to upgrade your bike. However, you will need larger wheels. Frames and suspensions are made to fit a particular wheel size. 26-inch and 29-inch tires cannot be interchanged.
To understand the relationship between price, quality and performance of bikes, it’s a good idea to talk to a sales representative. You can narrow down your choices to two or three models, and then test drive each one to determine which one is the best.
What Accessories are Recommended When Using a 29er Bike?
In addition to helmets and other safety equipment (see below), 29er mountain bikes are compatible with a wide range of extras.
These consist of the following:
- Bicycle patch kits
- Wheeled tire pumps
- GPS tracking devices and fitness trackers
- illumination and reflective garments
- water bladders
- cycle locks
There are a lot of possibilities for protective gear that you might want to think about. A helmet is one piece of safety equipment you should never neglect. Other choices include:
- Full-face protection
- Bracing and chest and back armor
- Knee and elbow pads
- UV-protective eyewear or goggles
- Medications kits
You should think of your helmet as a separate part of your bicycle. For bike locks, the same is true.
Use a high-quality bike lock if you appreciate your bike and don’t want it to fall into the wrong hands.
What Does 29 Inch Mountain Bike Mean?
Two-niner bikes and 29” mountain bikes are also known as 29er bikes. They have 29-inch wheels. The number 29 refers to the size of these bikes’ wheels (with a tire attached). 29-inch MTB wheels have the same diameter as 700c road bikes.
Is a 29er Harder To Ride?
29ers are able to roll over obstacles better than 27.5-inch tires, largely because they have a lower attack angle. This means that the ride is smoother and requires less effort to maintain.
What Is The Weight Limit For A 29 Inch Bike?
It’s difficult to standardize because there are so many types, shapes, materials, and parts. Most bikes have a weight limit between 275 and 300 lbs.
Are 29ers Better For Climbing?
29ers perform better on hills. It’s a myth that bigger wheels make you heavier, which can be detrimental when climbing. If the climb is cluttered with steps and rocks, the larger wheel will be able to roll over them with less effort.
Can A Woman Ride On A 29-inch Bike?
Not fair. Michele’s 29er has come to a long way in the short time since she bought her bike. Recently, however, many women’s-specific 29ers were introduced to the market. They claim to be able fit riders as small at 5ft (152.4cm), and offer lower standover heights and shorter-optimized geometry.
What CO2 canister size fits a 29er?
You should use 25g cartridges to CO2 inflate your 29er bike tires. Some 29er wheels might be able to be inflated with 16g CO2 cartridges, but if you misfire or use chunkier tires, you may not have enough gas remaining to fill the tire to the proper psi.
Carrying two 16g cartridges is a good idea if you want to use them with your 29er; otherwise, just one 25g cartridge will do.
In summary, a 29 mountain bike is a type of mountain bike that has 29-inch wheels. These bikes are designed for off-road riding and are often used for racing. Mountain bike 29inch tends to be lighter and faster than other types of mountain bikes, making them a good choice for riders who want to go fast on the trails.