26 vs 29

OK so im thinking of going with a 26 or a 29 incher for muni. Now if you have a 3 inch tire on the 26 and a 1.75 on the 29 then the difference in the diameters is only half an inch sooo then the total speed wouldn’t be that different im guessing and the climbing could actually be easier on the 29 b/c of less weight. soo does anyone that has both 26 and 29 find this to be true or am i compleatly wrong with my logic here.

The 29er will be much lighter, and have a larger circumference as well (by a considerable margin). I have a 26 x 2.6 (gazz jr) and a 29 x 2.2 (Kenda Nevegal), and the 29er is significantly bigger around. A 26 x 3.0 will be a little larger than my 26er setup, but not that much. Even with 102 cranks on my 26, I can’t go nearly as fast as I can on the 29er when I have the pedals in the 125 crank position.

So if speed is your biggest concern, the 29 is a better choice. But if you ride rough trails, the lack of really fat tires for a 29 is a liability. For most of the trails I ride, I stick to my 24 x 3, and save the 29 for rides that are part on and part off road, with smoother and not-so-steep terrain. The 26er has a non-splined setup and I don’t ride it so often anymore, and am in the process of setting it up with 150s for my son to ride.

I ride both a 26x2.6 and a 29. If you do get a 29", you’d get a 2.1 or 2.2" tyre, cos anything less is silly for muni (yep I’ve tried it).

For the last 5 months, I’ve been forced to ride only 29er, because I’m abroad, and only have the Schlumpf 29er with me. So I’ve been exploring what a 29er can ride. The 29er is significantly harder to ride down technical stuff. However, if you keep at it, practice a lot, and go for it hard, you can really bomb down things.

I’ve just come back from riding one of our local downhill tracks on the 29er, it’s only a ‘single black diamond’, which on these trails basically means that there are no drops above about 6 inches, and nothing that would make you poo yourself on a bike. There are some pretty cool obstacles though, like one section theres a set of 6 or 7 wood steps followed by a wooden bridge, followed by a drop, and it’s mainly pretty steep too.

On anything flat, if it’s smooth singletrack, the 29 has a slight edge speedwise, but very little over a 26x2.6. Once it becomes a bit more technical, I think the difference evens out, and once you have to really throw the uni around, I think the 26 probably has an advantage.

Climbing wise, on tarmac, I’d rather have the 29er, on easy fire roads, there’s little between them, for technical climbing, there’s no competition, the 26 wins hands down.

The other thing about 29ers, is that with the lighter tyre, I find I crash harder on the 29er. It’s gets caught on stuff more often, and because it’s so light, it seems to affect it more. Because you’re using a narrower tyre, you have to ride closer to the edge of your ability to power over things if you’re ever going to get anywhere. You’re also a little bit higher up, and generally riding slightly faster. I’ve got some big old cuts at the moment, cos I chucked myself down a cliff face the other day riding rocky singletrack on the 29er, fortunately no serious injuries.

For a first muni, I’d always recommend a 26 (or a 24 if you want to buy a KH muni). A 29 is only worth using as a muni once you’ve developed the skills and leg strength to ride it over technical terrain. For someone good, a 29 is kind of fun to ride, and can sometimes be very fast, but if you get one straight away, you risk being stuck on easy trails, and not developing the technical skills to hit anything harder.


Schlumpf 29er

A bit off the topic, but how fast is it on the level road compared to a 36" ? Does being geared up result in noticeable drag or control problems ?

what-ever you do, dont fall into the “lightness” trap that the 29er has…I agree with everthing in Joe’s post.

if you want to “muni” a 2.6 tyre with strong/thick sidwalls to really get the most out of “it” is needed at the least…not available for a 29er

I just got back from a 29er ride on trails. I also have a 26x3" MUni. The two are completely different beasts. I would recommend a 29er if what you’re looking to do is mostly fire road and cross-country things, especially if you intend to ride it on roads also. The 26x3" is awful on roads and is boring on fire roads. But if what you want to do is moderately to seriously technical MUni, the 26x3" will serve you much better. There were several trail sections today that I didn’t even try on the 29x2.1 that would have been easy on the 26x3"; partly that’s due to crank length, but in general the rides are not comparable; you have to look at a lot more than tire diameter.

It’s a little bit faster- maybe 5-10%. But it takes a bit more concentration to ride.