View Full Version : question for you avid mtn bikers

04-20-2010, 10:19 PM
So I'm gonna start getting into mtn biking and looking around at all the different bikes/gear. Noticed all the 29"er bikes out there and read up on all their "pros" and kinda like the idea. Are there any cons to 29" wheels?

I'm just starting out with mtn biking(noob), but can see myself getting really into it eventually.

Also I see some single speed mountain bikes and some people converting theirs to single speed. What are your thoughts/experience on this?


04-20-2010, 10:27 PM
Single speed Mountain bike? LOL. Thats called a beach cruiser.

What are you planning on doing with it? Trail? Jumping? Racing? Downhill? You need to figure out what you will be doing, that will determine what you need to buy. The options and prices are limitless. You can get a good used year or two old bike for a lot less then new. A hardtail like my Specialized rock hopper, or a complete fully suspended heavy ass downhill bike. Personally I like my disc brakes, they are awesome. as far as wheel size, I'm not sure. The only mountain bike Guru's we have on here is Lordoftheblings and he is usually MIA, or CALL_AAA, Kellygirl may be able to help as well.

04-20-2010, 11:22 PM
If you're planning on just riding the local trails to gain fitness and just get out there, stay away from a SS. A lot of the trails around here have climbs, they might be small but still give beginners a hard time sometimes. A geared bike will be more enjoyable and easier to use. If you buy the bike from an actual shop they'll come with service support. The Trek Store does lifetime adjustments, Performance also does this.

As for the 29ers, they're fun. If you're a bigger guy the larger wheels will make things easier. For me, I race cross country and am used to a fast accelerating bike that is nimble. But I recently took out a Turner Sultan, full suspension 29er, and it was fun but it wasn't as lively as my race bike. But it was still a hell of a lot of fun rolling over stuff and taking crappy lines and not getting in any trouble.

What it comes down to is, price, type of riding, and how much you're really going to ride. If you're looking to spend a good bit of money hit up North of the Border (nbbikes.com) and check out some of their demo bikes. It's an awesome way to get setup on something that'll do what you need and get a chance to take it off road and on actual trails rather than a parking lot.

04-21-2010, 12:20 AM
As far as what I plan to do, I'm not too sure yet but I'm sure I'll figure it out once I start riding more. I do consider myself to be a bigger guy, but more as in stocky vs tall(I'm 5'9").

Right now I'm leaning towards a Trek 4300/4500 and depending on if it would suit me, would consider a 29er from other companies.

04-21-2010, 12:35 AM
29ers are a different kind of ride. They've become very popular recently, but in my experience, I'm just more used to the feel of a 26 since that's what I learned on. I'm 6'3" and 180lbs and I feel totally fine on a 26. A geared hardtail can take you a lot of places, but in my opinion, something with a bit of travel all around will give you a bit more room (and a little confidence) to expand your comfort zone out on the trail. Not to mention a full travel bike can be more forgiving.

04-21-2010, 02:05 AM
Like Mike said, you can get a bike for specific kinds of rides, or get something that does well everywhere, but specializes in none of them. I have a Gary Fisher Supercaliber. It's kind of a cross-country race bike. it's pretty light, but since I'm 170 and not much of a jumper, it has all the suspension I need, or I can lock it out to ride on roads. (my new thing is riding TO my rides, instead of driving there) Disc brakes are a must. (hydraulic or mechanical) As for price, you can find bikes on Craigslist that people really need to sell, and do so for rediculous prices. Or you can buy last year's model and pay half price at a store. (mine was $2300, but I paid $1100)
I can't really say which brand is better, because I'm kind of biased towards Gary Fisher.
Once you have the bike, get on one of the mountain bike websites and find an easy cross-country trail to sort out the shifting and stuff. Then start doing some climbing and descending.
Don't forget to get MTB shorts. Without those, your nether-regions are gonna hate you. MTB gloves and a good helmet are musts, too. After that, you probably want to start buying shirts/jerseys, a Camelbak, glasses, lights (oh yes, night riding) tools and a rack to take your bike farther to hit the really good trails.

04-21-2010, 10:51 AM
I ride a 29" Vassago Jabberwocky single speed. I'd done a few years on a geared 26", but since converting to 29er, I don't think I can go back. Like others have said, it's a lot of fun having the extra attack angle from the larger wheels, making rolling over obstacles that much easier and fun. There's also nothing wrong with going single speed, whether it's on the road or on the trails; I do both, and having done both geared and single speed on the trails, I'll stick with single speed from here on out. In addition to the weight savings from shifters, derailleurs and cassettes, you can ride trails without having to think about shifting and powering down/up between shifts. When you approach a climb or descent, you don't have to think "ok which gear do I need to shift to before I attack this?", "do I have enough gears for this grade?", or "which gear do I need to be in after this drop?". With one speed you can forget all that and just focus on throwing down and grinding it to the top, or navigating the upcoming descent.

To answer your question, though, one of the cons of 29er is overall weight, since the wheels and frame are larger. Cost is also generally higher, but the fun factor can make up for it. And if you do decide on single speed, I recommend a 32/18 or 32/20 gear set-up. I run 32/18, which climbs great with some off-the-saddle pedaling and a lot of determination; and can get you over 18mph at 120rpm (which is plenty fast for most trail flats, imo). Good luck on your decision, and happy riding!

04-21-2010, 11:05 AM
check out the classified section on pinkbike.com I've gotten some good deals on there in the past!

06-15-2010, 05:47 PM
Wow, was supposed to decide on a bike almost two months ago.

Nonetheless, I finally picked up my first mountain bike...

Really wanted to go w/ a 29'er but figured pick this one up for now and if I really get into it later down the line, I'll drop the money for a full suspension 29'er.

Gary Fisher Wahoo Disc

Can't wait to go riding!!!!!!!!