Unless you’ve been hiding in a cave for the last few months, you won’t have failed to notice that talk of 29er mountain bikes (bikes with 29” wheels instead of the common 26”) – both hardtail and full-suspension – has been on the increase. Last weekend saw the world’s most prestigious cross-country mountain bike race take place at the 2012 Olympics – with a field littered with 29er bikes – and eventual gold medal winner Jaroslav Kulhavy taking the win on board his full-sus 29er.
Claims of the improved efficiency of 29ers as well as faster rolling bump-bulldozing qualities have been professed by many people including media reviewers, early adopters and pro riders alike.
The world’s best wheel builders including Easton, Hope and Formula have been quick to respond to the popularity of 29ers with plenty of hoops on offer covering every genre of the sport from lightweight cross-country to heavy-hitting all-mountain wheelsets. Similarly there are plenty of 29er-specific forks on offer too from the likes of RockShox and DT Swiss – and the choice of 29er-specific kit is only going to increase.
So what do you think? Have you got a 29er? Thinking about trying one out? Do you see many on the trails? Are they the next big thing, or just another tool for a job? Is 650b (the size between 26" and 29") going to feature more heavily in the future?
Let us know what you think in the comments section below – we’d love to know what you think.