Old 12-25-20, 09:15 PM
Senior Member
Join Date: Jul 2019
Location: In the south but from North
Posts: 338

Bikes: Turner 5-Spot Burner converted; IBIS Ripley, Specialized Crave, Tommasini Sintesi, Cinelli Superstar

Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 161 Post(s)
Liked 148 Times in 76 Posts
Originally Posted by bikeme View Post
My experience going from 26 to 29 is completely different than this. The loss of agility was marginal--I did have to take slightly wider lines in tight switchbacks but that became second nature very quickly and I ride even tighter stuff nowadays. As far as speed goes, the 29er was/is faster--I was PR'ing my local segments each ride--I also immediately placed higher in local XC races. Weight-wise , it's lighter as the 26 was a steel bike with heavy tubed WTB Velociraptors and beefy Araya rims and that 29er ( I have a new one) was a carbon frame with light Stans tubeless wheels and XC treaded tires. I got a dropper and that was a game changer for me too.
I currently ride both an old 26" MTB (Turner 5-spot) and a new 29" MTB (Ibis Ripley). With few exceptions, I am substantially faster on my 29" MTB. I tend to feel faster on my old 26" MTB but in the end of the day, the numbers always favor the Ripley. And it is not really that close. On a quick 15 mile loop, I am almost 20 minutes faster on the 29" bike. But it is terrain specific. That is, on another trail - one that is only a 4 mile twisty loop, the bikes are the same (speed wise).

However, I love my 26" bike and won't get rid of it. Even though I am slower, I have tons of fun on the old bike and have no problem riding it anywhere.

The 26" bike is shockingly light as well- with carbon rims, 2.4" tires and a dropper post, the bike is roughly 26 lbs. My 29" bike is 2 lbs heavier - aluminum rims and big 2.6" tires don't help.
vespasianus is offline