All about bicycles

garrett

...
Joined
Jul 27, 2012
Messages
6,324
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The southern tip of Tampa Bay
I'm really missing riding, as I've been off it for a couple weeks. It's in the upper 40s today, so I'd like to, but the trails are covered in the crushed, slippery, hard packed snow and ice.

In the meantime I've taken up trail running. Well, I'm not sure what I'm doing qualifies as "running." Maybe "glumphing."

But I got in a good amount of riding over the past year. I still only have one functional bike, my hardtail MTB, but it does everything. I was really wanting a gravel or endurance bike when they were impossible to find, but now that they are available, I'm questioning it.

I'm jonesing for a hardtail lately. Such a versatile format. Thinking of an XC bike and currently having an internal debate between 29er and 27.5.
 

m_c

New Member
Joined
Feb 4, 2023
Messages
12
Location
Scotland
I'm jonesing for a hardtail lately. Such a versatile format. Thinking of an XC bike and currently having an internal debate between 29er and 27.5.
Unless you're really vertically challenged (aka very short), 29er.
27.5" is a dying breed :(

Most brands have finally worked out what works on 29er's, so they ride and handle a lot better than when they first appeared.
 

tbp0701

There are some who call me ... Tim.
Joined
Feb 28, 2014
Messages
303
I'm jonesing for a hardtail lately. Such a versatile format. Thinking of an XC bike and currently having an internal debate between 29er and 27.5.
Mine's a 29er. I've never had a 27.5, so I can't compare, but the 29 will roll over a lot of stuff.

I also often use it on a towpath and rail trails where it can cruise at a pretty decent speed. Even had a couple road bikers comment they were surprised with my pace on a mountain bike. As they were passing, though. (I've also had people ask if it's an e-bike. One person said, "Are you sure there's not a battery in there?").

On the other hand, I think having a dropper post has spoiled me, as I use it when stopping and starting. The cable broke over the summer, and I realized at how out of practice I had gotten at starting and stopping the proper way. But dropping the seat and getting my feet down saved me from a couple spills.

Anyway, here's a photo of it taken beside the Cuyahoga Valley National Park towpath.
zZfhX8v.jpg
 

dankilling

Chaos in a bottle
Joined
Oct 12, 2022
Messages
64
Location
Lehigh Valley, PA
I’ve had both. Still have the 27.5. I like the ‘playfulness’ of slightly smaller wheels, but where I ride is extremely tight and technical, so 29” can be a bit tougher to handle. On more open flow trails, I like 29” but for tight gnarly tech trails I’ll keep the 27,5 for now….
 

dmatthews

Dave's not here
Joined
Apr 26, 2012
Messages
12,033
Location
Vancouver, B.C. Canada
I’ve had both. Still have the 27.5. I like the ‘playfulness’ of slightly smaller wheels, but where I ride is extremely tight and technical, so 29” can be a bit tougher to handle. On more open flow trails, I like 29” but for tight gnarly tech trails I’ll keep the 27,5 for now….
Yup... Love my 29er but if I did more tight technical 27.5 might be the trick.
Overall I'm glad I went 29, at 66 y/o it just rides nicer.
 

garrett

...
Joined
Jul 27, 2012
Messages
6,324
Location
The southern tip of Tampa Bay
I was set on a 29er, but then started looking at Canyons and they got in my head a bit, lol. For my height they put me on their size Small which is 27.5 only. Other makers put me on a medium. I'm 5'8", so I could go either way.

Here in FL, trails seem to make up for the lack of elevation by being very twisty. +1 for 27.5. However, they're usually in pine forests and can get very rooty, so +1 for 29er. I'm looking in more budget territory, so something like the Canyon Grand Canyon in small looks like a really fun and nimble bike with a shorter wheelbase. Something like a Salsa Rangefinder 29 looks better for longer rides and bikepacking.

I want to ride more in the vein of XC and flowy trails, or exploration and bikepacking, vs. getting gnarly on crazy features and jumps, etc. Fun stuff to think about and discuss since my GAS is still in remission, but my BAS (is that a term? it is now...) is flaring big time!
 

m_c

New Member
Joined
Feb 4, 2023
Messages
12
Location
Scotland
To clarify, I still have both, but bigger wheels aren't any slower on tight stuff. You just need to ride them a bit differently. 29er's you have to get your weight further forward, trust the grip, and put a bit more muscle in.

I demo'd a 29er when 26" was still the standard, and on tight steep techy stuff I wasn't any slower, but it flew on the straight sections once up to speed.
The tech has moved on a lot since then. Geometry is generally better. Boost (and Superboost for even more strength) hub spacing means wheels are stronger, and don't pringle as easily.

As per my last post, the only time I'd advise against a 29er, is if you're on the shorter side.
When you need a small frame, 29er's become unwieldy, which some people can manage without any issue, but if you've not got the strength/build to wrestle a relatively bulky bike, you almost become a passenger on anything other than smooth trails.

However the options for 27.5" kit are slowly declining.
I was looking at rebuilding my 27.5" winter hack bike last year after several years of abuse, but fork choices were noticeably more limited than 29er's, and by the time I factored in a new rear shock (original and the damping had finally died, and the shaft was showing signs of wear), new drivetrain (I think it had survived two Scottish winters), and new forks (the original 2017 pikes which the stanchions were showing signs of wear),I opted to buy a new 29er hardtail.

I do miss the short travel full sus, but I'm loving the hardtail again.
Plus I don't have to worry about when the frame bearings are going to die next.
 

veinbuster

Zombie Three, DFZ
Joined
Apr 26, 2012
Messages
14,256
Location
GTA or wandering aimlessly
Most of my trail riding friends have gone 29er.

I road a hard tail 29er for about 10 years and liked it as an all round bike. I replaced it with a fat bike, so about the same size around the rolling surface.

For most of what I ride, I don’t really find much difference doing it on 26” 27.5” or 29”.

That said, I lean towards the bigger wheel for a hard tail. It just smooths things out a bit. I lean to a more compact package, implying but not requiring, smaller wheels. I still use my 26” for tight stuff. 27.5 mostly hangs on a wall as a guest bike.

If I had to pick only one, I would stick with the big wheel fattie.
 

dankilling

Chaos in a bottle
Joined
Oct 12, 2022
Messages
64
Location
Lehigh Valley, PA
To clarify, I still have both, but bigger wheels aren't any slower on tight stuff. You just need to ride them a bit differently. 29er's you have to get your weight further forward, trust the grip, and put a bit more muscle in.
This is exactly why I prefer the 27.5 around where I ride. Putting your weight foreword and muscling it in tight, baby-head rocks gets you tossed off line really fast. Yes, parts availability is dwindling, but to be fair, you can still even get 26” parts and that size has been dead for almost a decade now. By the time I need anything major for this bike, I will have already bought another. For how the OP wants to ride, if he can get a good fitting 29, I’d say it’s the right tool for the job.
 

alantig

Zombie Four, DFZ
Joined
Apr 28, 2012
Messages
14,101
Being laid off must have affected my judgement. I went out for an early year ride today - 43 degrees when I started, about 47 when it ended (the thermometer in my car said it was 70 when I got back in, but we both know that was a lie). 15.5 miles. I eventually warmed up, but my fingers were freezing for the first 10 minutes or so. At some point, I stopped paying attention to them. The sucky part? Tom'w it's supposed to be around 60 here, but I can't ride because I have a dentist appointment in the morning and massage and nails in the afternoon. That would have been the day to go.
 

Moondog Wily

Howlin' At The Moon!
Joined
Feb 12, 2021
Messages
2,887
Location
Piccolomini Crater, Luna
Being laid off must have affected my judgement. I went out for an early year ride today - 43 degrees when I started, about 47 when it ended (the thermometer in my car said it was 70 when I got back in, but we both know that was a lie). 15.5 miles. I eventually warmed up, but my fingers were freezing for the first 10 minutes or so. At some point, I stopped paying attention to them. The sucky part? Tom'w it's supposed to be around 60 here, but I can't ride because I have a dentist appointment in the morning and massage and nails in the afternoon. That would have been the day to go.
Sounds like you are adjusting well to your no job life! A spa day can be a great reliever and dog gone it, you deserve it!! Are you getting a Brazillian as well?
 

veinbuster

Zombie Three, DFZ
Joined
Apr 26, 2012
Messages
14,256
Location
GTA or wandering aimlessly
Being laid off must have affected my judgement. I went out for an early year ride today - 43 degrees when I started, about 47 when it ended (the thermometer in my car said it was 70 when I got back in, but we both know that was a lie). 15.5 miles. I eventually warmed up, but my fingers were freezing for the first 10 minutes or so. At some point, I stopped paying attention to them. The sucky part? Tom'w it's supposed to be around 60 here, but I can't ride because I have a dentist appointment in the morning and massage and nails in the afternoon. That would have been the day to go.
Strong move following the dentist with some spa action.

43 degree riding is for pogies.
 

alantig

Zombie Four, DFZ
Joined
Apr 28, 2012
Messages
14,101
I looked at my Strava data for the ride. Top speed - 40.1 mph. I promise, I didn't get anywhere near 40 mph - on this trail, there isn't a cliff or drop-off high enough for me to reach that velocity, and I'm damn sure not reaching it by pedaling.

Okay, maybe if I try to beat a speeding truck at one of the points where the trail crosses the road, but again, the truck would have to be going at least 40 and I'd probably have to get stuck in the grille.
 

dmatthews

Dave's not here
Joined
Apr 26, 2012
Messages
12,033
Location
Vancouver, B.C. Canada
I looked at my Strava data for the ride. Top speed - 40.1 mph. I promise, I didn't get anywhere near 40 mph - on this trail, there isn't a cliff or drop-off high enough for me to reach that velocity, and I'm damn sure not reaching it by pedaling.

Okay, maybe if I try to beat a speeding truck at one of the points where the trail crosses the road, but again, the truck would have to be going at least 40 and I'd probably have to get stuck in the grille.
Fastest I've done is probably 35mph and that was downhill. I could have gone faster if I just "let it go" but it was scaring the carp out of me.
The movie in my head was either a lovely large pothole, or a rock I didn't see in time, or (insert unseen disaster here).
Nope... brakes are my friend, not breaks.
 

garrett

...
Joined
Jul 27, 2012
Messages
6,324
Location
The southern tip of Tampa Bay
Being laid off must have affected my judgement. I went out for an early year ride today - 43 degrees when I started, about 47 when it ended (the thermometer in my car said it was 70 when I got back in, but we both know that was a lie). 15.5 miles. I eventually warmed up, but my fingers were freezing for the first 10 minutes or so. At some point, I stopped paying attention to them. The sucky part? Tom'w it's supposed to be around 60 here, but I can't ride because I have a dentist appointment in the morning and massage and nails in the afternoon. That would have been the day to go.

40's can be really nice for a ride, assuming it's not wet. Or too windy. It's all about having the right clothes. 15+ miles is a good effort though, especially if you were cold!

I looked at my Strava data for the ride. Top speed - 40.1 mph. I promise, I didn't get anywhere near 40 mph - on this trail, there isn't a cliff or drop-off high enough for me to reach that velocity, and I'm damn sure not reaching it by pedaling.

Okay, maybe if I try to beat a speeding truck at one of the points where the trail crosses the road, but again, the truck would have to be going at least 40 and I'd probably have to get stuck in the grille.

Some theories:
-You're really an elite sprinter and being falsely modest
-You run Strava on your phone and at some point you threw your phone while the app was running
-You rode through a tiny rip in the space time continuum
-Aliens
 
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