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Thread: If rigid SS, why 29?

  1. #1
    EdM
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    If rigid SS, why 29?

    Here's something that I don't understand. I'm pretty sure that the reason I don't understand it is because I ride a FS 26". I'm just not in the loop.

    I can understand why people would want a single speed (more challenging, simple/uncomplicated, etc), and I can understand why someone would want a fully rigid (same reasons as single speed). I can even understand why someone would want both together.

    What I don't get is the 29" wheels on a rigid SS. I thought the 29" wheels made technical features easier, and that is in direct conflict with the rigid SS setup. Seems to me that if you're in it for the challenge of that nature, a fully rigid 23er would be the way to go.
    My wife says 26" is plenty big.

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    pedal dammit! Deacon's Avatar
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    EdM,

    I am with ya in the level of confusion, but since I am currently contemplating the move to 29er, I have been checking them out and trying to get my head around it too.

    My understanding (and limited testing seems to confirm this), the 29er's contact patch and larger volume tires make up for the 'lack' of a front shock. However, my hesitation comes from the control I get from having a front shock on my bikes (I have a 26" hard tail SS, a 26" hard tail geared and a 26" SS rigid [primarily commuter bike, but I have ridden Govt. Canyon with it]). The front shock allows me more control over the rocks at slower speeds, but coming down the main loop at Govt. Canyon on a fully rigid SS was not as traumatic as I had originally thought it would be. At speed the wheel seems to float a bit more. With a 29er wheelset, I assume that float would be magnified.

    But these are just my assumptions. Anyone with real world experience/advice? (I know there are several 29er rigid fans on this board)

    inquiring minds want to know...
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    Fat MoJo fat bob's Avatar
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    29er's have a bigger contact patch, so better traction, better cornering, better grip, more float, etc. The 29er SS thing is actually harder when it comes to tech stuff as it's harder to get the rear wheel up to speed as fast, you have to gear yourself correctly. I currently ride exclusively on fully rigid SS/Fixies. The reasons for me were certainly not for a higher challenge, I find SS much easier than having gears. It's the simplicity of it that I like. In reality everyone rides a SS, as it's impossible to ride in more than one gear ratio at a time (as far as I'm aware at least). You probably don't think about the gear you're in all that often, and the truth is, you're probably in a similar gear to a SS most of the time. The biggest difference is when you get to a hill you find yourself shifting, and we just pedal faster. Less to worry about, less maintenance, etc.

    As far as full rigid, prior to the last 7 years I rode a dual suspension bike, and while there were some really great things about it. There were a lot of pit falls. At that time the technology had a long way to go, not efficient lousy pivot bushings, flexy, etc. I was in a remote area of Western PA for a weekend of riding when my front fork went tits up, just needed a simple part that I probably could have found in a large hardware store, but this was a remote part of the state. I went to the two local bike shops in town, and they did not have the part I needed, but could get it in a week... uh yeah, so can I. I ended up picking up a cheap steel rigid fork and locked out my rear suspension. While it sucked, I learned that a rigid bike will rarely let you down. Once I learned to pick my lines again I realized I could ride 99% of what my friends with their massive 100MM travel forks were able to ride, just had to add a little skill. I purchased a cheap HT frame, put the rigid fork on it, and parked the Superlight. I rode a mix of 3x9, 1x9 and finally 1x1 SS... that bike is now being used by a rider in San Antonio still!

    Now, I did buy into the whole 29er thing. I've been riding them for the last 4-5 years. While I really like them, they do have their draw backs. My current chi chi ti 29er is up for sale, and I'm sticking to my cheapo 69er fixie and will get a 26" FS bike as my back is beginning to feel older than it should, and the technology, in theory is there to help with efficiency

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    MoJo Mother Superior sherpaxc's Avatar
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    As stated on another thread here on Mojo Land, without it I am a terrible rider. My balls would never have dropped and I would be wearing a skirt.

    Wait a second...

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    Fat MoJo fat bob's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Deacon View Post
    EdM,

    I am with ya in the level of confusion, but since I am currently contemplating the move to 29er, I have been checking them out and trying to get my head around it too.

    My understanding (and limited testing seems to confirm this), the 29er's contact patch and larger volume tires make up for the 'lack' of a front shock. However, my hesitation comes from the control I get from having a front shock on my bikes (I have a 26" hard tail SS, a 26" hard tail geared and a 26" SS rigid [primarily commuter bike, but I have ridden Govt. Canyon with it]). The front shock allows me more control over the rocks at slower speeds, but coming down the main loop at Govt. Canyon on a fully rigid SS was not as traumatic as I had originally thought it would be. At speed the wheel seems to float a bit more. With a 29er wheelset, I assume that float would be magnified.

    But these are just my assumptions. Anyone with real world experience/advice? (I know there are several 29er rigid fans on this board)

    inquiring minds want to know...
    Yes, it does float over things much better than a 26" wheel (check out my blog for the pixle capture thanks to John, did it on the 29er no problem). If you want a hell of a deal on a bling 29er that can be SS, geared, rigid, HT let me know. Link in my sig block for the blog and 29er for sale.

  6. #6
    Breathe in, breathe out; repeat. carney's Avatar
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    Well, I have both a 26" full-susp and a 29" rigid SS (haro Mary SS). I enjoy both. They are completely different but entirely enjoyable. I've ridden Gov Canyon in SA (first ride, actually) on the SS, bcgb, WC, and city park. In some places where I can sit and spin a low gear for climbing, I can't make it all on the SS. On some technical climbs I have trouble on the 26" bike, I can always make it on the 29er (the first climb after 360 on the greenbelt); I usually have trouble on the 26er for one reason or another but nearly always make it up on the 29.

    All I can say is there no REASON to ride a 29" rigid SS over a 26" full-suspension bike. There is only DESIRE. Ride what you desire and you'll enjoy it.

    I do believe I will be desiring to ride this afternoon on my 29er.
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    MoJo Mother Superior sherpaxc's Avatar
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    Dude, Fat Bob, you are whoring that thing up!

  8. #8
    Soothes what ails you NSAID's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by fat bob View Post
    ... My current chi chi ti 29er is up for sale, and I'm sticking to my cheapo 69er fixie and will get a 26" FS bike as my back is beginning to feel older than it should, and the technology, in theory is there to help with efficiency
    You selling the Optimus? Sorry to hear that. I love my second gen.

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    Fat MoJo fat bob's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by sherpaxc View Post
    Dude, Fat Bob, you are whoring that thing up!
    Not fully whoring her out, haven't hit flea bay with her (yet), but I have my eye on a 26" squishy that I'd like to pick up and start riding, so she's got to go.

  10. #10
    pedal dammit! Deacon's Avatar
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    There is only DESIRE. Ride what you desire and you'll enjoy it.
    AMEN to that...

    Link in my sig block for the blog and 29er for sale.
    My favorite 29er in the flesh, er... titanium...

    But I need the 18" vassago for the fit.

    my Desire on the 29er is a 1x9 (with option to swap to a 1x1; hence my fascination with the paragon sliders to keep the disc in the proper location for the calipers) and planning on starting out rigid (I can always 'upgrade' to a suspension fork later). I just haven't found the right time/cash flow to make it happen so I keep pondering and second guessing on the build out.

    Thanks for the input. I hope it helps EdM as much as it has myself.

    cheers!
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    and now I am headed downhill ilke a bat out of hell!
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  11. #11
    Fat MoJo fat bob's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by NSAID View Post
    You selling the Optimus? Sorry to hear that. I love my second gen.

    Yep, she's gotta go. I like it a lot, just fell in love with a squishy 26" bike and I need $ for it. If you have one of the US made Opti's it's 3rd generation, 1st generation had horizontal drops only and was a very limited production, mine is the Tai-Ti 2nd generation (10 months old) and now they are made in the US 3rd Generation.

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    EdM - JUST 'CAUSE! There - reason given.
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    Fat MoJo fat bob's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Deacon View Post
    AME

    But I need the 18" vassago for the fit.
    What are you currently riding in 26" wheels? I only ask because I was on a Medium FSR, then a Medium Superlight and thought I needed a medium in my first 29er (based off of geo on paper) TT was too long, stand over was not as good. You'll also find that a 29er is much tougher to "flick" and a smaller fit makes it a touch easier. That said, if you're of normal build and 5'11" or taller a small Opti would be way small for you.

  14. #14
    MoJo Priest MO60's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by fat bob View Post
    If you want a hell of a deal on a bling 29er that can be SS, geared, rigid, HT let me know. Link in my sig block for the blog and 29er for sale.


    You see Deacon, you NEED an Optimus! Too bad that one is too small.

  15. #15
    pedal dammit! Deacon's Avatar
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    What are you currently riding in 26" wheels?
    20" Marin Muir Woods (1992, rigid SS)
    20" Fetish Discipline, geared
    19" Fetish Fixation SS

    I did a standover test on a Medium GT Peace 9er multi and it feels just slightly undersized. I keep running in a 30.5 - 31" stand over height range @ 6'2" and the medium 26ers (about 17-17.5/18) just feel a wee bit small, but on the cusp.

    I rode a 17" diamond back for years and while it was agile enough, moving up to the 20" made it a lot easier for me to hit some of the descents and climbs on the trail, plus I didn't feel like I was going over the bars all the time.

    The 19" Fixation has geometry that feels a wee bit larger than the same manufacturer's 20" which is why I keep testing on various frame sizes in the 29er arena. The top tube length seems to be the real key (as you pointed out) and that really is where the smaller frames fall short (pun intended)...
    "I have been to the top of the mountain...
    and now I am headed downhill ilke a bat out of hell!
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  16. #16
    pedal dammit! Deacon's Avatar
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    You see Deacon, you NEED an Optimus! Too bad that one is too small.
    Yeah, exactly. "NEED"... what I keep telling my wife about my bike obsession... "I need 'another one'..." Not sure why she doesn't get it...



    crackin' me up!
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  17. #17
    pedal dammit! Deacon's Avatar
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    btw, EdM, sorry to hijack your thread amigo... hope the info helps regardless.
    "I have been to the top of the mountain...
    and now I am headed downhill ilke a bat out of hell!
    - http://mtbaustin.org -

  18. #18
    One who wanders Singlespeedster's Avatar
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    29er, DOES soak up small bumps/chatter better.

    29er rigid DOES not equal a 26er with a decent suspension fork.

    On a sustained climb you WILL feel the added weight of the wheels.

    I left Texas with a fully rigid Karate Monkey that I loved. Moved to Colorado, did some epic, high elevation rides on it. Started to get tired. Rode some geared 29ers. Still felt tired. Rode a 26er FS. Climbing was better.

    Head angle has a lot to do with the way a bike feels. I talk to a lot of people who absolutely swear by their 29ers because they feel much more stable. It turns out that many of these people never have been on a slacker head angle than the old NORBA standby of 71-70 degrees. So they hop on a 29er and it feels nice and stable...just like a bike with a real head angle...

    Slacker head angles also help forks work better because bump forces can more easily initiate travel.

    All of this is mere opinion, and is not intended, in any way, to bash on the (overly sensitive) 29er crowd (/kool-aid drinkers )

    At the end of the day, whatever bike feels best to you may well be the right one. Just make sure your mind is clear whilst testing. Don't let others preconceived notions filter your thoughts.
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  19. #19
    pedal dammit! Deacon's Avatar
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    Head angle has a lot to do with the way a bike feels. I talk to a lot of people who absolutely swear by their 29ers because they feel much more stable. It turns out that many of these people never have been on a slacker head angle than the old NORBA standby of 71-70 degrees. So they hop on a 29er and it feels nice and stable...just like a bike with a real head angle...
    Exactly! And that is why I think the 19" SS feels more stable and secure than the 20" geared... different geometry. But I also know riding with a couple of friends on 29ers on my geared bike I end up in the big ring 90% of the time to keep up as well (tc, bcgb, reimer's). Lots of variables. And, as MO60 pointed out "NEED" enters the picture...
    "I have been to the top of the mountain...
    and now I am headed downhill ilke a bat out of hell!
    - http://mtbaustin.org -

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