Talkback Tuesday: 29inch Dh Rigs, Here To Stay?

Postby Rik on Tue 2nd May 8:50am

This weekend the downhill world has been a-buzz with the appearance of 29inch wheels at the opening round of the UCI downhill championship at Lourdes.

We know a lot about the pros and cons of 29inch wheels over other sizes, why they should work in some situations and why they shouldn't work in others.
Indeed much maths, science and simpleton diagrams have been posted on vorb to defend or attack the case.
But there are fractions of World Cup paddock that, for at least the first round at Lourdes, that 29ers are faster. And there's no doubt in manufacturers research centres around the world, if they haven't already, engineers are now scrambling make or modify frames to make the big wheels work.

Now is this a flash in the pan? An abberation caused by the nature (not the weather that nature threw at only top riders) of the track. Or are 29 inch wheeled DH rigs here to stay?
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Re: Talkback Tuesday: 29inch Dh Rigs, Here To Stay?

Postby pb on Tue 2nd May 8:59am

Presumably for some riders (large?) on some tracks they will be faster. Perhaps we will see riders using different wheel sizes at each race depending on the course. In some ways it is no different to using different travel bikes depending on the course.
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Re: Talkback Tuesday: 29inch Dh Rigs, Here To Stay?

Postby Dougal on Tue 2nd May 10:57am

29" DH wheels have been around for some time. Just not common. Manitou has had the 29" Dorado option since 2010 (7 years now).

I think they need to tighten up the courses until the super long bikes aren't an advantage.
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Re: Talkback Tuesday: 29inch Dh Rigs, Here To Stay?

Postby mudguard on Tue 2nd May 11:18am

Honestly I think if 29" wheels become common in the World Cup, there is no point for bike manufacturers to make 650B wheels. We survived for so long on one wheel size (with some small deviations, 2004 Big Hit anyone?). I have nothing against the wheel size differences in theory, it's more that you could quite happily swap parts among frames. Tapered I like headtubes I like, smaller and stiffer. But the hub thing is a complete nightmare. I've never cared for tires wider than 2.5 and rarely outride my 2.35's.
I bought my current bike in 2014, the last 26" Enduro, which was deliberate, sure in typical Specialized fashion there are some annoyances, 142+ rear, though 142 works just fine so it is the original wheel that can't fit in another frame, and shock yoke. But in that time I've ridden the 29" version at Woodhill, and the 650B version (which was the year after mine) and honestly the 650B/26" there was no difference. I did 5 laps on each in Queenstown and the specs were identical except for the brakes.
The 29" was good fun at Woodhill, and it did seem fast but definitely slower turning in and just maneuvering in general.

It's been so long since I've bent a wheel that stiffness gains are probably moot. In fact as I get heavier, my bike gets lighter! However I'm probably also getting slower and not jumping lots of stuff.
It will be intriguing to see if the rest of the field embraces it. Fort William will probably be a real test.
On a side note, does anyone think pro riders actually choose what they ride? I'd assume they get what they're given, with small allowances, maybe an air, or coil shock (by the sponsored manufacturer).
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Re: Talkback Tuesday: 29inch Dh Rigs, Here To Stay?

Postby Dougal on Tue 2nd May 11:28am

mudguard wrote:Honestly I think if 29" wheels become common in the World Cup, there is no point for bike manufacturers to make 650B wheels.


You mean there was a point to 27" (aka 650B) wheels?
All they do is make it harder for short people and kids.
Dougal
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Re: Talkback Tuesday: 29inch Dh Rigs, Here To Stay?

Postby mudguard on Tue 2nd May 11:35am

Yeah I see kids on 29ers and it looks ridiculous. I think the reason 29 hadn't reached the World Cup (maybe some in South Africa last year?) was the perceived lack of strength and travel limiting. So if they can now handle with that kind of stress then why bother to make any other size.
It will be like the old days!
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Re: Talkback Tuesday: 29inch Dh Rigs, Here To Stay?

Postby Conners on Tue 2nd May 12:14pm

I always roll my eyes when I see short arses riding 29ers, just looks ridiculaous.
Part of this is because I just don't like short people.
People probably roll their eyes at me riding 26" wheels at 6'2" as well - but they are probably short people who I don't like so I don't care.

I'm actually surprised its taken this long to make it to WC level. Especially when the Syndicate had Minnar, Peaty and Bryceland on board who are all over 6'.
Will be interesting to see how it plays out over the season - whether all of the Syndicate guys ride them at every track or if they chop and change to suit.
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Re: Talkback Tuesday: 29inch Dh Rigs, Here To Stay?

Postby dwgknz on Tue 2nd May 12:31pm

Conners wrote:I always roll my eyes when I see short arses riding 29ers, just looks ridiculaous.


Anton Cooper and his super negative angle stems spring to mind!
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Re: Talkback Tuesday: 29inch Dh Rigs, Here To Stay?

Postby AgrAde on Tue 2nd May 4:12pm

Dougal wrote:
mudguard wrote:Honestly I think if 29" wheels become common in the World Cup, there is no point for bike manufacturers to make 650B wheels.


You mean there was a point to 27" (aka 650B) wheels?
All they do is make it harder for short people and kids.


Maybe we need a size slightly smaller than 650b that fits kids... 25.5"?
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Re: Talkback Tuesday: 29inch Dh Rigs, Here To Stay?

Postby Dougal on Tue 2nd May 4:27pm

AgrAde wrote:
Dougal wrote:
mudguard wrote:Honestly I think if 29" wheels become common in the World Cup, there is no point for bike manufacturers to make 650B wheels.


You mean there was a point to 27" (aka 650B) wheels?
All they do is make it harder for short people and kids.


Maybe we need a size slightly smaller than 650b that fits kids... 25.5"?


Coming soon. 26 Plus.
Followed by 26x2.6" wide trail.
Followed by 26x2.3-2.4 light trail
Followed by 26x2.1 fast XC.
Dougal
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Re: Talkback Tuesday: 29inch Dh Rigs, Here To Stay?

Postby AgrAde on Tue 2nd May 4:41pm

We'll need a narrower axle standard too to retain the compliance of current bikes. Boost 137? Need a narrower bb standard to match too. PF30 minus? The minus is opposite to plus.
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Re: Talkback Tuesday: 29inch Dh Rigs, Here To Stay?

Postby el_booto on Tue 2nd May 6:01pm

stop it
all of you :hmmm:
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Re: Talkback Tuesday: 29inch Dh Rigs, Here To Stay?

Postby Wobbler on Tue 2nd May 6:08pm

I didnt see any 29er riders on the podium.
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Re: Talkback Tuesday: 29inch Dh Rigs, Here To Stay?

Postby philstar on Wed 3rd May 5:11pm

Dougal wrote:
I think they need to tighten up the courses until the super long bikes aren't an advantage.

:withstupid: :thumbsup:
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Re: Talkback Tuesday: 29inch Dh Rigs, Here To Stay?

Postby mudguard on Wed 3rd May 8:45pm

Fort William next. Surely that's where the big wheels will have an advantage. Isn't it one of the hardest on wheels as well?
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