You might have heard about 29ers. People say these bikes are great for efficient traveling speed and are pretty comfortable to ride. But what is a 29er mountain bike?
In layman’s language, it’s a mountain bike that comes with bigger wheels. And bigger wheels translate into more travel with less effort. These bikes come with 29-inch wheels. The size of the wheels is the diameter of the wheel from edge to edge.
29er bikes share their wheel diameter with road bikes that come with 700c standard tires on them. So besides efficient paddling and performance, are there any other advantages these big wheels have with mountain bikes?
In this guide, we will explore different aspects associated with the matter of the 29er mountain bike.
So, continue reading to find out how it is better or worse than its conventional 27.5-inch wheel size.
To understand the 29er mountain bike, we need to discuss a few reasons why riders go to these large wheels on their mountain bikes?
Shallow Curve Angle
The primary reason is that bigger hoops can roll more smoothly and evenly within a curve angle. You can try this out with a shot glass and then see how a pint glass rolls. You will notice that the glass will roll significantly smoother.
With a shallower angle of the curve, your ride will not get influenced by dips and bumps. This is because it will bridge any gaps that are there between the hard edges.
This is precisely the reason why riding a BMX down the stairs is much more complex than riding a mountain bike.
Therefore, a 29er mountain bike has just enough big wheels to fill in those gaps of hard edges that are steps and convert them into a slope.
Your 29er mountain bike like the SAVADECK Carbon Fiber Mountain Bike is going to be more stable than its 26-inch and 27.5-inch counterparts. This is due to the longer wheelbase and a longer backend, making room for those bigger wheels.
This also happens because that bottom bracket is further below the axles of the wheels, which is also called BB drop. So, though the axles are only about to 1.5-inch higher on 29ers as compared to 26-inch wheels, you will still sit lower between those axles.
So, those big wheels might have a higher center of gravity than smaller wheels. As a result, when you ride these bikes, you will feel more comfortable and stable. This is because your body weight is on an axis just below the wheels’ axles.
This is purely due to the design geometry of these 29er mountain bikes. This geometry has significantly improved over the years since these 29ers hit the market for the first time.
In the early days, cornering and handling were not that great on those big wheels. But with the improvement in design and geometry, the bikes with big wheels are now equally agile and impressive in handling and cornering.
Yes, 29er mountain bikes tend to climb faster as compared to their smaller counterparts. However, these bikes are much better performers when it comes to riding uphill.
This is because bigger wheels travel more with each paddle. As we mentioned early that your paddling is going to be highly responsive on a 29er mountain bike. Therefore, this feature will count a lot when you are riding uphill.
You might have heard that bigger wheels are heavier and that they will not be in your favor when climbing. But you will notice that, in reality, these 29ers are great when it comes to riding uphill, even if they are heavier.
Moreover, if your uphill climb has steps and rocks as well, these big wheels will smoothly roll over them, and you won’t lose your momentum at all. These bigger wheels have more surface contact, so grounding gripping will be better, and your bike will be more responsive.
29er wheeled bikes are better at climbing right from the beginning. But with the design improvements, 29ers have become even better when it comes to handling those climbs. As a result, you will be in more control, and you will be peddling with less effort now.
A great choice to consider is the Devinci Troy SX Eagle Mountain Bike for your first 29er mountain bike. The bike is reasonably priced and well designed to show you the power of the 29 inch mountain bikes.
We are going to understand our question “what is a 29er mountain bike” in this section. Larger wheels mean that you will have a smoother ride as the wheel will roll. So, you will have more momentum in your ride and will roll on with stability.
But when it comes to acceleration, these 29ers are not that great. Smaller wheels tend to accelerate more. This is primarily due to the fact that larger wheels palace the weight of the rims, spokes, tires, and tubes further away from the wheel’s center.
This will result in a higher rotational mass but slower acceleration. Therefore, these 29er mountain bikes are great for shorter rides. But you will be able to put in much less effort to roll your bike, and hence, you will continue to ride for longer sessions.
A heavier mountain bike will be slower with more mass but will have more momentum in the ride. It means that your off-road riding experience is going to be much more subtle on a 29er mountain bike.
The recent developments in the design and geometry of these 29er mountain bikes have made them much smoother to ride. The paddling response has improved, and the bike’s overall control and handling have gotten better.
But you still need to deal with those larger wheels and tires adding more weight to your bike, making it slower than its smaller counterparts. But the overall ride comfort and control have significantly improved.
The same factor influencing the overall speed of this big wheel bike is also influencing its ability to jump. But, of course, a 29er mountain bike is a bigger bike, and it has bigger wheels and more mass on it. Therefore, your bike will be significantly heavier than a 26-inch or a 27.5-inch bike like the.
With this extra weight, you will feel it while jumping and put in much more effort than you would have done on a smaller wheeled bike. This is precisely the reason why people use BMX bikes for those humps and stunts because it’s pretty lightweight for all that kind of stuff.
Your slow speed is another contributor here but in a negative sense. As these bikes are heavier than their smaller counterparts, they will be slower, and you won’t time your jump properly.
To gain speed, you will have to put more effort on the pedal and then some more for the jump. So, it’s not a great bike for such stunts. But these bikes are great fun in a bike park with those a-line jumps that you can perform at high speeds.
Another aspect of understanding of the 29er mountain bike is to find out what type of riders can benefit from this bike.
These big wheel bikes are going to be beneficial for a variety of riders. This is regardless of the discipline and skill level. These are great for beginners, and they provide additional grip with more surface contact.
In addition, these bikes are stable and smooth-rolling. So, they are great for beginners to handle those trickier terrains with higher speeds more comfortably.
You will find this bike fun to ride if you are an intermediate rider. More surface contact, better stability, and shooter rolling are going to be there for you. But you will be able to ride much faster on these bikes. And this can be said for the people who have advanced level riding skills.
This bike is a great option for a cross-country rider as well. Again, this is because of its smooth-rolling and superior control with those big hoops.
Downhill riders will benefit from the modifications in the geometry and design. These design modifications have recently happened and with the bigger hoops. They will have more control on their ride with fewer bumps to deal with.
But if you are riding tight with those 180-degree switchbacks throughout the day or prefer riding those pump tracks and dirt jumps, you will not find a 29er a very useful bike.
One of the significant developments came when manufacturers altered their geometry and design. This has been a very welcoming change, and the ride on this big wheel bike has significantly improved.
Hence, you will get more traction and maneuverability regardless of the large size of the wheels and more weight on the bike. As a result, this bike has become much easier to ride for most riders out there.
So, what is a 29er mountain bike? It’s a bike that comes with big wheels, and it is going to provide you plenty of ride comfort. These bikes are great when it comes to rolling over obstacles because of their smaller attack angle smoothly.
With bigger wheels, you will be able to generate more speed with lesser effort. But, of course, you might have to compromise on speed because bigger wheels mean more weight on the bike.
But your overall riding experience on this bike will be phenomenal. So, whether you like to ride downhill or uphill, you will find a 29er mountain bike pretty handy.
You will ride this bike with more authority as it comes with better traction and is highly responsive. Furthermore, with the recent developments and design innovations, the overall geometry of 29er mountain bikes has significantly improved. Hence, it has become a top choice for many riders irrespective of discipline and skill level.