BUYERS GUIDE TO: 29ER MOUNTAIN BIKES
29er mountain bikes have landed! In 2012 we saw the first year of serious 29ers. 2013 bikes are now starting to appear and we are seeing a serious swing in favour of 29ers vs 26 inch wheel bikes. For most people the question is why 29? Why not a regular 26 inch wheel mountain bike. There is no definitive answer and our opinion is that there is room for both wheel sizes with certain riders, riding styles and terrains being more suitable to one or another.
In simple terms a 29er has a bigger wheel and will roll faster - it also irons out the bumps better due to the higher air volume in the tyres. 29ers are now becoming more and more common at races too. On the down side the bigger wheel is harder to manoeuvre, larger wheels = more weight and smaller riders may suffer due to geometry issues. 26 inch wheels are easy to build lighter and stronger, the bikes handle better in tight single track and tight situations and the smaller wheel generally works better on longer travel full suspension bikes.
If you ride smooth fast tracks, gravel roads and flowing single tracks we think a 29er will be best. If you ride more extreme, bumpy or rocky terrain we think a 26 inch wheel bike maybe better. There are lots of opinions out there on which is better but ultimately only you can decide!
Learn more about the different types of Mountain Bikes available: