Do tall people really need a 29er?

Jaz
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Do tall people really need a 29er?

Postby Jaz » Mon Sep 10, 2018 2:22 pm

Hi All,
I'm new to off-roading and I'd like to get a Full Suspension trail bike for trail riding. I would like to occasionally do some rough downhill riding and/or jumps, but I will primarily be doing just general trail riding though; up hills, down hills... the lot.

I'm tall (around 188cm) and people in bike shops keep telling me to get a 29er, however there seems to be more choice in the 27.5 bikes, and they also seem to have more suspension travel.

Many of the 29ers I've seen have only around 120mm in the front.

Do you think there is any disadvantage of getting a 27.5 bike?
Do you think a 120mm 29er would be unsuitable for hammering down rough tracks and decent jumps from time to time?
I will be riding with someone on a small 27.5 FS medium-travel bike (also not yet purchased)

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rangersac
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Re: Do tall people really need a 29er?

Postby rangersac » Tue Sep 11, 2018 10:31 am

So I'm 188cm and have two MTBs. One's a 29er and one is a 27.5. 29er has a 140mm fork and a 130mm shock, and the 27.5 has a 160mm fork and a 140mm shock. The 29er is the better all rounder, climbs more efficiently, and rolls through chunder faster. The 27.5 is more fun. It pops off jumps much more easily, and can be muscled through the tight and twisty stuff more efficiently, but suffers on the climbs and rough rock garden type trails . For more enduro type downhill trails it wins on the descents, but that's more due to the slacker geometry and the larger volume shock, so the rear end holds a line better. Anyway, in summary travel isn't everything, and just because you are tall doesn't mean you need a 29er. Geometry plays a much bigger role in your confidence when going down. Without knowing where you ride, what bikes you are considering and from what you've described I'd say the 29er would be more suitable just from an efficiency point of view but you may trade off the fun factor somewhat by going down that path.
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Mugglechops
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Re: Do tall people really need a 29er?

Postby Mugglechops » Tue Sep 11, 2018 10:47 am

I am 187cms, my last FS bike was a 26er and I raced DH for years on a 26er. You don't really need a 29er, but they are nice when you get out on a firetrail.

You could always get a 27.5plus then the overall wheel height will be close to a 29er anyway.
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RonK
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Re: Do tall people really need a 29er?

Postby RonK » Tue Sep 11, 2018 1:42 pm

Mugglechops wrote:You could always get a 27.5plus then the overall wheel height will be close to a 29er anyway.

I did that, and I'm very happy with the result. For double the fun, get one with a motor.
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bychosis
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Re: Do tall people really need a 29er?

Postby bychosis » Tue Sep 11, 2018 2:46 pm

I went through the process last year. I’m 181cm, so not quite as tall. I ended up with a 27.5 bike with 150mm travel both ends for the fun factor. Sure, it’s not going to be as efficient on the ups or long fire road rolls, but I decided I’d prefer something with a bit more chuckability than what a 29er would appear to provide. I came from a light XC 26” bike and enjoy the downs a whole lot more, and don’t begrudge the climbs.
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Mububban
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Re: Do tall people really need a 29er?

Postby Mububban » Sun Sep 16, 2018 6:15 pm

FWIW I had my first taste of 29er on a borrowed hardtail and man, it was an eye opener after only ever having ridden an old 26er. There's a particular spot on one regular trail I hit today, a root drop immediately into a rock that my 26er always got stuck on. I hit it today, ready to bail out like normal, but the 29er just rode up and over it. Very nice.

I can't say whether a 27.5" bike would have done exactly the same thing, as my skills are quite poor, but the 29er wheels definitely had a big impact on familiar trails for me.
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Mububban
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Re: Do tall people really need a 29er?

Postby Mububban » Sun Sep 16, 2018 6:17 pm

Jaz wrote:Hi All,
I'm new to off-roading and I'd like to get a Full Suspension trail bike for trail riding. I would like to occasionally do some rough downhill riding and/or jumps, but I will primarily be doing just general trail riding though; up hills, down hills... the lot.

I'm tall (around 188cm) and people in bike shops keep telling me to get a 29er, however there seems to be more choice in the 27.5 bikes, and they also seem to have more suspension travel.

Many of the 29ers I've seen have only around 120mm in the front.

Do you think there is any disadvantage of getting a 27.5 bike?
Do you think a 120mm 29er would be unsuitable for hammering down rough tracks and decent jumps from time to time?
I will be riding with someone on a small 27.5 FS medium-travel bike (also not yet purchased)


FWIW I'm 189cm and had my first taste of 29er on a borrowed hardtail and man, it was an eye opener after only ever having ridden an old 26er. There's a particular spot on one regular trail I hit today, a root drop immediately into a rock that my 26er always got stuck on. I hit it today, ready to bail out like normal, but the 29er just rode up and over it. Very nice.

I can't say whether a 27.5" bike would have done exactly the same thing, as my skills are quite poor, but the 29er wheels definitely had a big impact on familiar trails for me.
Due to budget restrictions I've got a 27.5" dual sus with 150mm travel on order, I'm sure that will be another new experience altogether!
When you are driving your car, you are not stuck IN traffic - you ARE the traffic!!!

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