i do not own a 29er. I have a 36 and a 24. But if i were you i would go with a 29er if you plan on alot of cross country in your future. If it is for one ride then stick with the 24 and save the money. I have a kh handle bar on my 36er. it is great. adjustable and durable. i chose this over the shadow because it is more adjustable, you generally see more people with them (especially for muni.), and if it breaks (knock on wood) you can still ride it. there are also many reports of shadow bases breaking. There seems like the design puts to much stress on one weld. Handlebars make a more comfortable ride by taking some weight of the saddle as well as position your body for a more comfortable ride if you get used to them then they are great but i never found a need for them on a 24
Hope this helps. like i said i don’t have a 29er or a handlebar on a muni
Yes, I think this would be the general consensus from most people here.
The extra 5 inches makes a considerable difference, not all of it speed, stability as well.
In November I did my longest ride on my 29er (22 miles). Up until then I had no problem riding 10 or even 15 miles. The extra 7 miles was pretty difficult, especially the last 2 miles. There is no way I would think about that on a 24. That said, there are many people that would probably try it…
I didn’t use a handle bar, just NurseBens grab handle, which serves me perfectly well.
I find even a 26er far easier to ride for ‘distance’ than the 24er and that’s only 2" different. Just got done with my longest single ride, 7.5km on the 26er today…that would have been super tough on the 24er. I too am now thinking about a 29er
Depending on the kind of 24" you have there may be other options. Some frames have quite a bit of clearance over the top of the tire. That plus a bit of DIY motivation breeds possibility…
My first “road” uni was a 24" MUni frame that I built a 26" wheel for. The idea was to have a single more versatile uni. The wheel was a UDC CrMo square taper hub ($30) with some used spokes laced to a used MTB rim. The tire was a 26x1.5 slick road tire that I got a Kmart for $5. This setup fit into the frame with a bit under a centimeter of clearance.
I used the old spokes that came out of the wheel I scavenged the rim from and my total cost for the wheel was under $50. From there you can either make a very serviceable handlebar from an old French “10 speed”, or get a Coker Pi-Bar for $48. This keeps you under the current budget and gets you a faster more nimble wheel. While you’re at it you may want to pick up a pair of 102mm cranks from UDC for $9. Those would be a nice fit on a lightish 26er.
EDIT: Also, for around a hundred you can pick up a Sun classic 28". It’s a decent road uni as long as you have a better seat. I don’t know if it makes much sense if you have to buy a seat, and I wouldn’t do much real riding with the seat it comes with.
I’d just like to add my two cents, erm, I mean pence, here:
Unless you’re into really techy DH, I’d go with a 29er. I held out on getting one for quite a while, being fairly short and not that good (at the time). It was only when I finally got mine that I realised I was all worked up over nothing. 29ers really are the way forward - in fact, I can barely ride ‘small’ wheels now!
Just take the plunge and get one, they’re surprisingly easy to ride and are so much more fun (and more practical) than a 24 or 26.
The longest I rode my 24 was about 22km so riding the distance is doable(with a few seat stops along the way). But since I got a 29 my 24 languishes… The 24 muni is a different story
I agree wholeheartedly with Killian here, if you are riding road don’t waste money on the 24. But I do accept that if in the short term you buy the handle, when you have sorted out the extra cash to get a larger wheel you will move the handle to it!