What size for cross-country?

Tomarrow my family and I are planning to ride some cross country trail and I am curious to what wheel size I should take. I have a 20, 24, 29, and will be getting a 36er today. The trails themselves probably will be easy because my Mom is doing it more leisuly and has head problems, so we won’t be thrashing the mountains. Oh yeah, this will be my first time to prolonged periods of riding off road


What’s the trail like? I only ask because not all cross country trails are equal. Some trails are wide, and smooth, other’s are narrow, winding, and have tech features like slots, and drops.

Will everyone be on uni’s, or will other’s be on bikes? If you are riding with bikes you will appreciate the speed from the biggest wheel you can muster. If you feel confident on the 36 you might want to consider it, but the 29 would be a good choice as well. A leisurely ride on a bike could still be a good workout on a uni.

I’d say 29er all the way! Much lighter and more maneuverable than a 36er, and the wheel size will give you plenty of speed potential, especially with 125mm cranks. The 29er is also preferable to the heavier, more sluggish 36er on hill climbing, and also easier to handle on descents.

And since getting my 29er, and loving how great it handles on xc, and even tech terrain, I wouldn’t have any further reason or desire to ride my 36er off road again.

Haha. :p:D;)


As a new 29er owner, with a fair amount of cross country experience on 24, 26 and 36, I’d say if you can mount it consistently, the 29er is far and away the fastest and most manoeuvreable until you get either to the very steep (in which case a 24) or the very flat (in which case a 36). The 29er is almost too easy. :sunglasses:

That statement sticks out for me because I’m just starting to realize that I’m trying way too hard on the KH29. I’ve been focusing on trying to have as little weight as possible on the pedals during the upstrokes, but really the same is true for the power stroke. When I get in that zone, it seems the uni just rides itself with extremely little effort on moderate terrain. To the OP, I’d definitely take the 29er. Have fun.