26'' vs. 29''

I should have some money to spend after Christmas so I am looking at getting a bigger MUni. I have searched the forums for this and couldn’t find it. I am looking at the pros and cons of each size and what tires are available if i get anything i will need ether to be used or secondhand. can any one shed any light on this subject?

The 26er will have a poofy tire and nearly the same diameter as the 29er. Usually it will be much heavier from the tire being so big, but will have more give over rooty sections. It will also be a little more robust (depending on the cycle)

A KH 29er would be very fast and very tough, hard to find used though. it has a slimmer tire, so it’ll have a rougher ride.

I imagine you could keep about the same speed on either, but if you want to ride on the road a little, the 29er would probably be a better choice.

I would stay away from a nimbus 29er with a single walled rim if you’re doing heavy trails. Fine for cross country.

Cross-country = 29"
Cross-country + real muni (downhill)= 26"
for downhill you may need a brake through :wink:

It may be that the diameter of a 26x3 is about the same as a 29x2.3, but the effective rolling diameter is smaller. I noticed a great improvement in speed going from 26 to 29, but the 29 is also a lot taller. For some reason when I was on my 29 I felt like I was really high off the deck. It was fine for flat singletrack, but we don’t have much of that here, and I couldn’t imagine taking it on some of my regular trails. If you have relatively flat woodsy trails the 29 is super fun to swoop through the trees, but if your XC trails are anything like the small rock gardens we have around here you may be happier on a 26.

As for tires, I’m not sure you would need a tire bigger than a 2.5-2.7 on a 26" wheel. A tire in this size would give you plenty of cushion while keeping the weight down. If I remember right a 26x2.7 has about the same volume as a 24x3.

I am 6’3 220lbs so i am big and right now i ride a 24dx and i just want to go faster

“I am 6’3 220lbs so i am big and right now i ride a 24dx and i just want to go faster”

Sounds like you want a 29. Just like me. Thanks for that Tim.


There has been a lot written on this subject, but since it’s a slow day at work…

I have all three sizes, 24 x 3, 26 x 3, 29 x 2.4.

As a bigger guy, I find the 24 to be more akin to a trials uni, slow, twitchy, too close to the ground so pedal strike is a problem. The 24 is much better for super tech stuff where you jump and hop a lot, so more a big boy trials uni.

My muni is a 26, been riding a 26 since I first learned, in 2008. It has been more or a struggle to ride in contrast to the 24 since it’s a little more uni to throw around. That said, I can do anything on the 26 that I can do on a 24, though some things are harder such as you’d expect from a larger uni. It rolls over stuff better than a 24, which is why I like it for muni; I’m a roller, not a hopper.

I use the 29 as much or more than the 26, mostly because my 26 is a Surly with a Large Marge, so it’s a tank, whereas the 29 is a KH with light components. I like the 29 because it is fast and quick, so when the trails are dry and easier, and the 26 is going to an overkill, then I take the 29. But, I do take the 29 to do harder muni and it works fine, just not quite as agile as he 26, and the tire is lighter weight so I get some sidewall collapse at times.

Right now I am converting my Surly LM to a Larry 3.8 tire, at which point my “tank” will reach maximum heavyness and maximum cushyness, so a real super muni. Because I like to have a real “choice” in my rides, the Larry will really serve to seperate the two munis so the choice will be more clear.

I’d get a 26, see if you like it, then if you do, sell the 24 and get a 29. A 24 is awful small for someone your size. A 29 is not a muni, though it could serve as one, whereas a 26 is a muni for big guys. The tire circumerference is not even close between my 26 x 3 and my 29 x 2.4/2.5, as you’d expect, the 29 is 1-1.5 inches bigger in the radius depending on the tires.

Today it’s kinda rainy, still wet for a rain late last week, so I have the 26 with me. But, I rode Saturday in the mud and soft leaves, rode some rock ledges, and I was on the 29 :slight_smile: I like to keep both in the car, then grab the one that matches my mood.

i have a @#$% load of 26 tires and i think it will match our trials

I would state it this way… if you plan to use it mainly for the Muni, then 26er seems a good choice. If you would like to do some road riding as well, then 29er is better imho.

The narrowest 26" tire you’ll be able to use based on your weight is a 2.4/2.5 DH (two ply sidewall), unless you’re just riding smooth trails, so you probably won’t be able to use all those tires :roll_eyes:

My favorite big boy “narrow” 26er tire is the Intense DH 2.5, next fav is the K1TryAll Sticky 2.5. I ride a Duro Leopard 3" now, upgrading to a Larry 3.8"

Your best bet and biggest bang for the buck is a Nimbus 26" muni. If you can wait, the Nimbus Oregon will be disc brake and likely run a wider rim. You could also get a KH 26, but if you plan on running a 3" tire you’ll need to order the newest frame; the first generation of frame was too narrow.

If you have the patience and are willing to look around, you might want to consider building up a Surly 26. The frames are no longer available, but you can still find the used for ~$200. They are well made, nice looking, and will handle a super wide tire (Larry, Endomorph).

thx for your so detailed comments! I am in the same situation: I am just learning on a 20" (qu-ax professional) and now I am looking for something “different”.
My favorite would be a 29"KH with brakes (and maybe a Schlumpf) for XC. But I am not shure, if I will be able to ride on it just now…
So maybe a 26" with a big tire would be better for the moment.

But finaly as you mentioned: it would be great to have both and to have the choice. This is, what I am working for :wink:

Yeah, that’s been something I’m working toward, having a “quiver” of unis that are different enough that they don’t cancel each other out.

Here’s where I’m at:

KH Trials, 19, 2.5"
Surly 26, LM, Larry 3.8"
KH 29, FR, Racing Ralph 2.4
KH 36, Nightrider, 2.5

I’d like to add a guni, which I’m looking to do within five years, would probably be a 26, though as my skill grows I am thinking 29, esp since it would probably be a mixed use uni for XC, light muni, and some double track.

If you already have a 24" MUni, I wouldn’t bother with a 26" MUni; get something different enough to be worth it (like a 29er or a 36").

If you’re currently on a 20", a 26" could make sense if your trails include a lot of easy stuff, along with significant technical sections. If it’s all technical, stick with a 24"; if it’s mostly easy stuff, a bigger wheel will be more fun.

will a nimbus 29 rim be strong?

I ride a 24 x 3.0, a 26 x 2.7 or 3.8 (no 3.0 yet) and a 29 x 2.3 (Stout) up to a 2.5 (Kodiak).

My impressions: The Large Marge/ Larry combo is the fastest in a lot of situations- IF you can push the pedals and hang on. The Larry is lighter than a 3.0 DH tire, but the width really can grab and pull on off camber trails. I think it’s faster than the 29er for me as I don’t get thrown by the roots and rocks around here as easily. I can roll more too since the tire helps.

The 24 excels in steep climbs and is a hoot to hop, and the 29er has been doing a lot more sitting as of late.

The 2.7 (Maxxis Mobster) on the 26 is nice, but with Marge- it’s around the smallest tire I’d want to run.

I’m 6’1 and 160lbs. Not that it really matters, but I did 10 or 11 MTB/ Cyclocross races this year on various wheel sizes. The longest race was 18 miles and I don’t think I finished last at any of the events (i.e. faster than bikes).

The newest surprise is how well the 36" KH with 165s can ride the trails.

The internet is full of opinions. These are mine.

@unigoat: which crank size do you use with your 26 large_marge/Larry combo? (I am thinking of buying one with 140mm cranks…for semi-technical terrain -mostly single path in the woods-)

I’m in the market for a Nimbus 26" muni. I will probable put brakes on it eventually. What is this Nimbus Oregon with disc brake set-up you speak of? When is it coming out? I’m very interested.

Yeah, I was thinking the same, ran 165’s for the past year, had fun on some mellow trails, gravel roads, but went down to 150’s to improve spin rate and for more greenway/distance riding. Take care with that wheel, they can taco way easy.

I’d post a link, but their website is down. Look under the blog on UDC’s website, there’s a picture of Josh with a green muni, yellow trim, sporting a disc hub. That uni is the prototype using an aluminum spindled hub, the final product is coming out in the Spring/Summer sporting a steel spindle.

I’m hoping it’ll fit a LM and Larry :slight_smile:

I’m pretty sure that’s what Josh has on it.

UDC is back up. Here’s the blog post with a photo of the prototype with LM rim and Larry tire: http://www.unicycle.com/blog/?p=515