26 x3 vs 29-er

Unlikely I know, but has anyone had experience with both these?

If so, how does a 26 x3 compare to a 29-er.

I’m asking as the effective diameter must be pretty close to that of a 29.

The 26 x 3 would have the advantage of a stronger rim, and probably the disadvantage of a very heavy wheel/tyre.

I should have mentioned that if you’re replying to this please bear crank length in mind- obviously a 29-er with 125’s will feel considerably different to a 26 x 3 with 170’s.

Hopefully some of you will have used 150’s on both as that would probably be the length I’d go for.

And type of riding would be typical 29-er stuff- distance on roads and cross country mild muni.

I have both of the setups you described. I’ve ridden them both with 170s and with 150s (well, 145 Profiles).

They’re totally different animals. The 26" feels like a fast 24x3", while the 29er is certainly more nimble but unforgiving.

If the trail is rough, I’d prefer the 26". If the trail is smoother, I’d probably go for the 29er.

The 26" rides down stairs like a magic carpet, while the niner is more of a bone shaker.

I have them both and find that I almost never ride the 29er anymore. I also have a Coker and except for long steep hill climbing it almost completely fills the 29er niche. The problem I found is I get so use to just bombing over roots and rock on the 26 X 3 and 36 x2.1/4 that when I switch to the 29er I find myself on the ground the first root out. The 29er is light graceful and elegant I just don’t have enough time to ride it anymore.

I’ve got a 26x2.6 gazz. It’s significantly smaller than the big apple, slightly smaller than the 29" notos and not that much smaller than the 3" gazz. If you want to ride fast on a 26 but still do difficult offroad riding, I’d get the 2.6 gazz, it’s that bit lighter, but still a really really super tyre for technical riding.

As for how it compares to a 29" offroad tyre, I’d say there’s not much in it, the main difference is that it’s a lot more of an agressive tyre than the notos 29 that I have.

I certainly hit higher speeds on my 29er, but I think that’s mainly explained by the shorter cranks (150vs125) and smoother tyre.

If I was wanting to ride a 26" really fast, for cross country muni with lots of roads in between, I’d get a less agressive tyre than the gazz, it wears down quickly on the road. Maybe a 26x2.1 or so would be better.


Nobody mentioned weight. That’s the difference. Also you didn’t mention what tire on the 29", so there’s a little leeway there. I have a nanoraptor. It’s great for cruising trails, but less great as the trail gets bumpy and techincal. If the trail is seriously technical, you start getting to the point where you may damage that lighter 29" wheel.

I will have my 29" Nanoraptor and 24 x 3" Gazz available for MUni Weekend. I may try the 29" for the Tahoe Rim Trail. though I’ll have a little less fun on the technical parts, I’ll cover the long downhill at the end much more easily.


onewheeldave did in the opening post.

Hi, this is a question that can fit in this thread, so let’s go with it.

I have a 24 inches “standard” unicycle and would like a taller wheel to cover more ground. Because I want to go on trail too, I was thinking about a 26 inches wheel with a three inches tire (26-3). I understand that this wheel would be wider, “knobbier” and heavier than a 29-er, does it mean that it would “feel” heavier when on the road (speed, turning, etc)? I want a lively ride.

Eventually, if the passion about unicycle keeps going, I guess I’ll be dreaming about a coker.