From 29" to 36"

Having today received new 36" Nimbus Nightrider Toy. Took it out for a couple Km test run. And must say … felt smooth. Have been a 29" user now for couple of years averaging 30 -40 Km per week and have never tried 36" until today. Aside the smooth ride, had difficulty adjusting to mounting via pole, tree, railing etc… Guessing will get used to the mounting in time… Am using 125 cranks on the 36" and have chosen not to install the handlebars.
Curious as to others who have transitioned from 29 to 36" whether alternating between the 2 unis occurs or whether the 29" basically remains a stored toy that is rarely played with… Or how long it took you to fully adjust . Or any other observations to call out.

Thanks Jimmy

Piece Maker will be able to tell you all about the ‘forgotten 29er’ I believe his lays abandoned in a corner somewhere :smiley:

I can tell you that once you’ve been riding the 36er for a while, it’s awkward dropping back down in size… I went to pedal on the 29er like I would on the 36, and pretty much just fell into a faceplant!

I rode a 36 for about year, never felt totally comfortable on the road (traffic, road related obstacles, and hills with traffic). I just couldn’t get the level of control that I have over the 29, didn’t want to end up someones hood ornament. Switched back to 29. If I want to cover more than 10-15 miles I’ll ride my bike. My experience doesn’t seem to be the norm around here though, seems most don’t switch back.

I mean, I did some unitour with my 36", and its smoothness is amazing. It goes faster, nicer and smoother than the 29".
But… What about an XC ride? What about steep uphills or steep downhills?
Often I can’t climb some steep uphills around home with the 36", but I can ride them with the 29".

In my personal experience, now I’ve spiderwebs on my 36", cause I switched to G29, loving all the agility of the 29 and the higher speed when I go on high gear.

But a couple of years ago,after years of riding with my G29, I was planning an alpine multi day tour with my wife (she riding a bike). Then one month before the start I broke the gear. The 36" wasn’t enough agile so… I bought a new, ungeared 29!
And it worked perfectly!
Here’s the video!

So, your options with your 29":

-do XC / Muni with the 29"
-invite friends to ride with you and lend them one of your big wheels
-put on the double hole cranks on the 29", and transform it into a new lovely machine
-put on the 29 a geared hub…


+1, since I ride my G29+, my 36er has become a stored toy, the G29 is much easier to ride in complicated situation (muni, sidewalks etc) and also faster when I shift up.
It was already the case with the G26 but the G29 is more stable in high gear, even faster and it’s nearly as easy to ride in high gear as the ungeared 36er.
With 137mm cranks in 1:1 I can ride some uphills that I just can’t imagine climbing with the 36er and the same cranks

Though it hasn’t exactly the same smooth feeling (and high view) that only the 36er gives.
That’s why I now consider my (disassembled)36er as a toy.

By the way, you video is tremendous giocollogi :slight_smile:

You videos are awesome! Especially this one! Must feel great to finish such a tour “round the Alps”.

I went straight from a 20" savage to a 36er, that basically tabled the 20". Practice your running mount and you’ll have it in no time. As giocologgi mentioned, throw a mountain tire on the 29er and go ride some singletrack! : )

You can always put short cranks on the 29er and throw it in the trunk of your car if you travel a lot and want a uni for a random romp across an odd town or something.

Hey Jimmy, congrats on the 36. I know people will say they’re not practical, but they’re fun, so who cares!

I did a similar thing to you; went from a 26 to a 36. I converted my 26 to a muni but these days it doesn’t see much action. When I get a chance to ride it’s nearly always on the 36.

One thing the 26 is great for is going on holiday. It’s much easier to throw in the car (or suitcase if flying) than a 36 is.

The crank length probably doesn’t help with learning to mount. I also run 125s on my 36 and still only have about a 50% success rate with mounting after riding it for over a year. If I put 150s on it then I’m near 100%. I really should practice more.

I used to live somewhat close to you (discussed in another thread), but have since moved over the river so I’m a bit further away now. Still, we should get together and hit the Brighton-Le-Sands path on the 36ers sometime. At one point I plotted out a decent ride from Wolli Creek station to Kurnell via Brighton-Le-Sands, but never got around to riding it before I moved house…

Very interesting thread! I haven’t move up from a 29er and perhaps never will. In July I had a rare UPD while crushing at 10mph. Landed face first when I couldn’t run it out. Two days later a huge bruise appeared on my face with no way to hide the fact that I fell off my uni. That episode has made me think twice about getting a larger wheel. Luckily I recovered from that fall but it was pretty bad. Must have also bruised a rib when the mouth piece of my water blatter hit my chest. Coughing was painful for a few weeks. Every time I mention a 36er my husband brings up that fall and imagines what my injuries would have been if I had been on a 36er.

I <3 my 29er. Easy to ride and take on trips. My uni odometer reads 3,467 miles so far.

Anyways, have fun on your new uni. I’m sure you’ve got better balance skills.

Hey Giocollogi… Nice clip… Very cool indeed scenery and background music too… Thanx for putting it out there … Good to know there is still life in the 29 … Jimmy

Hey Juggleaddict … Am getting the feeling the free mount on 36 might be slightly easier … Shall try my luck with the running mount… Jimmy

Lightbulbjim… Sure … lets hook up and do this. …am finding the 36 a smoother ride so far… Early days (only 1) but so far so good…in January am heading off to Dallas and to Perth… Am planning to take away the 36 ( to my wife’s dismay) with me have you taken the 36" via oversized baggage as yet … Catch a … Jimmy

Ouch re that fall face Down… What a nightmare. Glad to know your still out there… One thing funny though is height wise the 36 is only an inch or 2 heigher for Jimmy (seat position) vs the 29"… But if travelling faster, then I see the reluctance…
Have been very happy with the 29" and no real compelling reason to give the 36 a go other than curiosity and I guess the challenge… Perhaps the showing off a bigger wheel another thing I suppose. … BTW you have an impressive odometer read… Jimmy

Do you remember I said that I did this “Dreilander tour”(3 nations) with my ungeared 29"?

Well, the tour has been so nice that the following year we did it again, this time choosing a more adventurous path in the middle section… with my G29!

We did it 3 days after our wedding, so I called it “something like a honeymoontain”

Here’s the link:


I keep my 29er as a MUni machine, I’ve put the 145mm cranks and off-road tyre back on it, but yeah as I’m mostly just riding to work and doing long road rides my 29er has been a bit neglected :frowning:

I wish there was more Muni to ride round here, I reckon I’d use my 29er far more if there was! I love it for fast XC trails and flowy single track :smiley:

crank length

I’ve never ridden a 29" much and moved from 24" to 36" with a little 26" in between (ok, and a weeks on a borrowed 29").

My thoughts exactly. After about 3 years my 36er mount on 150mm cranks is near 100%, probably about 90% with 125s and then more like 70% on 114/100s. It took a while to learn to mount on shorter cranks… for me the higher seat with shorter cranks makes a real difference on the 36". If you have something longer available I’d recommend it, but 125mm is a good length for the 36 (I run 114s/100s purely for more speed in my 14km commute). But the difficulty curve for both mounting and slow-speed handling is pretty steep between long and short cranks (i.e. with 150/165s I can mount, ride slowly amoung pedestrians, hop-and-go and idle pretty well, whereas with 114s I have trouble with almost anything other than riding fast and have to dismount if there are lots of pedestrians about).

Nope, haven’t flown with any uni yet. I will be flying with my 26 next year if all goes to plan.

How about climbing 10% grades? (300m climb per 1km or 500ft climb per 1 mile). I can’t imagine a 36er would do well on those grades but does a 29er? I do a lot of climbing and am wondering if I should just gear up my 26er rather than buy a new 29?

I’ve had some difficulty with the 36" after the 29", just the mounting, so I also bought a 32", which is very comfortable and just as easy to mount as the 29", without any rail or post :slight_smile:

Some of the steeper climbs in my neighborhood are around or just over 10%. On my 29" they were never technically difficult although obviously there’s some effort because of the grade. They’re more of a test on my 36", with a trade-off of spending a lot of time in the “dead zone” if the wheel is turning slowly versus the workload of gaining elevation faster if I pedal faster. I worked on that as a challenge for a couple of weeks after getting my 36" and got it to where it wasn’t a big drama. (That’s with 150mm cranks, which probably matters.) It might be trickier to go do it right now since I haven’t ridden that one as much lately. But I’m hardly the studliest rider here. My guess is that probably half of the forum regulars could do those hills on a 36" and barely notice them.