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29 Inch Mountain Bike Buying Guide
Different Types,FAQ & Components
Choosing the right mountain bike to buy isn’t easy, especially if you’re new to the sport. There are more types of mountain bikes, and in more formats than ever before. If you don’t want to buy the wrong bike, it’s critical to do the necessary research before you spend your hard-earned money. Although the myriad of choices may seem confusing now, rest assured that after reading this article you should have a much better idea of what you want to buy.
The important questions you need to ask yourself are what type of riding you’ll be doing, on what type of terrain, and what your budget is. It’s essential to be honest with yourself, because you don’t want to buy the wrong bike for the type of riding you’ll be doing. The best bike, is the one that is most suited to your type of riding.
Types of 29-inch mountain bikes:
Trail bikes can be had with full or hardtail suspension configurations, averaging from 110mm to 150mm of travel, and have a relaxed geometry that means neutral and predictable handling. Choosing between a full suspension and hardtail bike is important, and it all depends on the type of trails you’ll be riding. If you’re planning on riding longer distances on less technical trials, a hardtail is probably the right choice for you. If you’re planning on riding more challenging, technical trails, then a full suspension setup is your best bet.
This is the all-rounder when it comes to the mountain bike world, and what most people think of when the word ‘mountain bike’ comes up. Trail bikes are a blend of many features taken from other types of mountain bikes, designed to take on a large variety of trails and terrain. This is the perfect type of bike if you just want to hit the trails after work and on the weekends, but is also suited to more long distance, even multi-day trail rides/bikepacking.
Enduro/All-Mountain bikes can be considered the next step up from a trail bike, and can also be had in full suspension or hardtail although full suspension Enduro bikes the most popular. This is a category that has become very popular over the past few years as Enduro racing gains more popularity and formats.
Enduro bikes typically have 140mm to 170mm of travel, and although the most popular wheel size for Enduro bikes is 650b, they can easily be found in 29er size.
If you’re looking for a bike more suited to technical trail riding, jumping and downhill, then this is the bike for you. Although, it’s important to remember that these bikes are meant for speed riding, maneuverability & long trails. You should be okay doing excursions/bikepacking with these types of bikes but shouldn’t be the first choice.
Cross-country bikes are typically a hardtail setup, with a focus on lightness, speed and climbing. This is the type of bike you want to be looking at if you plan on covering long distances efficiently, plan on entering races, or plan on doing multi-day/bikepacking adventure rides. Cross-country mountain bikes usually have 70mm-100mm of front suspension travel.
Everybody has seen these bikes riding around, but few know what they’re actually good for. If you plan on using a bike for riding though snow, sand, deep mud, un-trailed forests, then this is the bike for you. But it must be said, you won’t be winning any races on a fat bike, but if you plan on doing long distances, fat bikes are a good fit.
Fat bikes come in just about every type of setup, from rigid, to hardtail, to full suspension. Most people go for a rigid setup because suspension isn’t much needed at the speeds you’ll be doing when riding a fat bike, and a rigid frame is more efficient when it comes to power transfer.
As the name suggests, these bikes are meant for going downhill fast, as well as big drops, big jumps and obstacles. If you’re thinking of getting into downhill riding, but want a more versatile bike, you may also want to consider an enduro bike. But if you want a dedicated rig for riding downhill, and taking the chairlift up every time, then downhill bikes are what you’re looking for.
Although downhill bikes can be found in hardtail format, full suspension is the much more common and recommended setup. Suspension travel is typically 170mm to 250mm.
Electric Mountain Bikes
Just about every type of bike, can be found with an electric motor nowadays, in all types of setups, from rigid to full suspension. So, is an electric mountain bike right for you?
That depends. Non-electric is the purest form of any type of cycling, and many purists will swear to never touch an electric bike. But that is no reason to be put off by electric.
Electric bikes have gotten countless people around the world back on two wheels that otherwise would have never cycled again, and we definitely want as many people as possible enjoying the wonderful sport of cycling.
But electrics aren’t just for the elderly, and people with a lower level of fitness/health. Electric bikes are great for commuting without arriving covered in sweat, getting up-hill on enduro/downhill bikes when there is no chair lift or shuttle available. If you plan on using your bike for long distance riding, or multi-day bike packing adventures, electric may not be the right bike for you, unless you can plan a stop with a place to charge every night.
Just as important as choosing the right type of bike, is choosing the proper size and getting it setup for you. It’s critical to note that you can have a great bike, but if the size isn’t right for you, or if it’s not setup for you, it can make riding very unpleasant, and even cause injury.
When you’re looking at purchasing a bike, make sure to study the size charts for your particular type of bike to get the right size. Most bike shops have very professional staff that will help you decide which is the right size, but it’s a good idea to be armed with that information before walking through the door of the bike shop.
You have two choices when it comes to setting up your bike, or getting a bike fit.
A) You can do it yourself, there are plenty of articles and YouTube videos explaining how to properly fit your bike to your body. If you follow all the steps closely, you should be able to get pretty close to perfect. It’s important to note that a bike fit is an ongoing process, it may take you a few tries to get your bike dialed-in perfectly
B) Get your local bike shop to set you up.
Make sure to put a lot of thought into the type of bike that will be most suited to your type of riding, whether you want to go rigid, hardtail or full suspension, make sure to buy the right size and set it up properly. Once you got the right bike with the right fit, get out there and have a blast!
Read through common questions
29 Inch Mountain Bikes for Sale FAQ
How tall should you be for a 29 inch bike?
As you would probably guess from the name, a 29 inch mountain bike will be taller than its 26-inch counterparts. That is one of the reasons, why it gets extremely tall for shorter riders (under 5’6) who also experience issues with the big wheels and the lofty height of the handlebars. To address these issues, the latest variants of these bikes are available for people with small, medium, and large body sizes. Women-specific 29-ers are also being introduced.
Is 29er a good mountain bike?
29ers are certainly excellent mountain bikes. This is primarily because of their wheels that typically feature a long and visibly bigger contact patch when compared to their 27-inch counterparts. Although the wheels require some time to achieve proper acceleration, once you get a stable and consistent speed, you can thoroughly enjoy a long mountain ride on your 29er without any major disruptions.
Because the attack angle of these bikes’ wheels is shallow when compared to the 27-inch variants, you can easily use the bike to cross any hurdle including (but not limited to) logs, large parts of trees, pebbles, rocks, and everything else that you are likely to encounter. The wheel is also bigger which is yet another reason why it conveniently helps you travel amid obstacles.
Does a 29er climb better?
Usually, when you are climbing a mountain or any other slope, it is likely to be uneven or teeming with pebbles, rocks, and steep ends. In some cases, you may even find over-blown steps. The larger wheels of your 29er are a godsend in these cases because they enable you to climb with minimal effort.
You can climb at a higher speed when using smaller bikes. However, the climb won’t be as consistent and because it’ll involve plenty of energy and effort from your end, you would be worn out in no time.
Can you upgrade a bike from 27.5 to 29?
You can easily upgrade from 27er or a 27.5er to a 29er. With the new setup, you will only experience one major feature, which is the height of your lower bracket. This height may elevate and the big wheel may not operate the same way as your old 27.5er.
What is the difference between a 27.5 and 29 fork?
The only major difference between the forks is in their size. Typically, 29ers tend to have larger forks when compared to 27.5ers. This is primarily because bigger offsets often translate to shorter trails and vice versa. The same applies to the size of the wheel, or more specifically, the height of the axil.
Because of this reason, most forks of 29ers will feature 51mm forks as compared to the smaller forks (44 to 47mm) in the 27.5 counterparts.
6. What is a 29er mountain bike best for?
You might want to use your 29er for competitive biking. Alternatively, you can also use it in competitions. Whether you are an intense rider or just getting started with mountain biking, this bike will meet all your requirements. Because they are also extremely versatile you can travel every type of terrain on them.
Are 29ers good for jumping?
29ers may be a lot of things but they aren’t the best bike for jumping. Even though you can still jump with these bikes, your pedaling needs to be harder and you would likely experience a smoother and convenient jump with a smaller bike like a 27er. Of course, you can still use these bikes for chartering some of the most difficult terrains. But when it comes to jumping, they may not be your best option primarily because of their huge and bulky size.
Which is faster 27.5 or 29er?
As you already only, 29er bikes come with larger wheels which also translates to bigger wheel diameters. This way, they develop bigger and more defined contact patches directly on the surface and once they reach a certain speed, they also roll up quite fast. Even though the acceleration is slightly slower when compared to 27.5 er variants, the 29ers often give you a stable and consistent speed thanks to their many rollover functions.
This is the same reason why you can use them to ride on the most difficult terrains. The contact patch helps, and the bike moves faster. However, the results may not be the same if you’re on a short race. In the short-term, smaller wheels will give an initial high speed, but when the 29ers catch a consistent speed, it is quick, consistent, and stable.
Is 700C the same as 29?
You have probably seen the term 700 C engraved on multiple road tires. For the uninitiated, it is a standard sizing convention that was used while creating French tires at one point. The term 700 indicates the diameter of the tire and the unit is expressed in mm. Even though you will rarely find them these days, the tires used to have A, B, and C category of which C is yet another category. 29 inch tires have a Bead Seat Diameter (BSD) 622mm, which means a 700C tire will fit as the ISO size of 700C is 622mm. However, 700C road rims are thinner than 29 inch tires so it won’t exactly be a compatible match.
Are 29-inch wheels better for cross country?
Cross county bikes tend to be lightweight, and you would want to travel any type of long-distance on them. However, when it comes to trail bikes, they are heavier as they can handle more intense and obstructive roads.
Nowadays, almost every standard cross-country bike will be a 29er because its wheels are 29 inches. This makes way for quicker and consistent pedals which is one of the absolute necessities when it comes to biking in cross counties.
You will also find some variants of 29ers used as trail bikes. These bikes usually have wheels ranging from 27.5 inches and going up to a whopping 29 inches. So, first, understand your exact requirements from the bike and choose the one that works best for your comfort and purpose.
Mountain Bike Components
Frame, saddle, fork, etc
Biking is the best outdoor activity as this will give health benefits to anyone. Some are just using it for the first time while others are upgrading the parts of their bikes so they can have the best cycling experience. For those who are planning to buy a new mountain bike, you must consider its parts or you have the option of assembling a bike for your use.
There are some advantages if you build your bike like you can add custom features, reduce its weight, change seat style to build a better fit as you can buy exactly the features and components you want. But before you begin assembling your bike, you must have enough awareness of all the parts of a mountain bike so you can optimize your ride as sizing and ensuring that all of the components play nice together is important.
Bike frames have different styles and quantities. It is important to try riding the bike first before you will purchase the frame so you can obtain a nice fit. If you don’t like it then you can try riding a different bike for you to choose the best one. Some bike frames are harder than others and it’s important to evaluate this before purchasing. The stand of a bike brings assembling the mountain bike easier.
Seat Post and Clamp
The Seatpost is the long tube that puts into the tube of the seat. Make sure that exact measurements are correct by ordering or buying a seat post having a diameter that will fit snugly inside the seat pipe. Seat posts have various counterbalances which can alter the sizing of the bike. The seat post buckle is the part that is going to ensure the seat post to the tube of the seat. Make sure to match the diameter of your post and frame.
Front-Wheel and Rear Wheel
The fundamental parts of the wheel are tires, tubes, nipples, rim, hub, spokes, and rim tape. The tire is the portion of the bike that touches the ground; the wheel of the bike has tubes or it can go tubeless also if you like; nipples connect spokes going to the rim; the rim holds the wheel parts all together and the wheel attaches to it; the hub is the center part of the wheel wherein the spokes are connected; spokes expand from the hub to the nipples, and the rim tape is needed to see the tires to the rim especially if the wheel is tubeless. If you need to assemble each of the wheels with custom parts. make sure that you match the rim holes with the spokes number.
This bike part must fit on your butt because having a saddle that you are comfortable with gives you the best ride experience that you are dreaming of. A saddle is also one of the simplest things for you to customize in a bike. Take more time and examine this part well to have the best saddle that will feel relaxed on your sit bones and ensure that the seat post matches your saddle.
You can choose suspension or rigid fork. This fork is going to the head tube. Most of the new bikes have a tapered head tube. You need to measure correctly the diameters to the millimeters to ensure that you have the exact bearing sizes. For the tapered tubes, make sure to calculate the head tube top area diameter. Once you now have the right measurements, it’s time for you to request those bearings.
If you are going to buy the recent fork, the steering tube will be much longer than the head tube. You need to cut the fork to fit it to some other parts. When you are assembling forks, think about the wheel size and ensure that you have clearance of the tire once the wheels go on. Check also if the fork can adapt to the type of brake you will be installing.
Bearings and Cups for the Seat Tube
Bearings and cups will be inserted on both head tube sides. Cups and bearings normally come together. Once all of the bearings are inducted, then you are prepared to add the fork.
Crank Sets and Bearings
It’s now time for you to check if the cranksets are okay. Don’t forget to measure its diameters to ensure that the crankset fits well with your bike frame especially the bottom part of the bracket shell. The crankset must comfortably fit.
Front breaks have different standards, so ensure that all of these components play nice and function together. The caliper of the front brake needs to be mounted into the fork.
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Look at the bike frame and see to it that the measurements are exact and must match it up with the tires to create a perfect fit.
The standard rotor for a mountain bike is 180 mm in front and 160 millimeters in the rear. If you want to be aggressive in riding and have more speed, you need to have a larger rotor.
The mountain bike stem must fit the handlebars and the fork. Stems come in different sizes so you need to dig into them and find out the exact matches for these parts.
Handlebars come in different styles. Before you buy any of these parts, try to use them first. The size and style of riding as well as other riding factors will affect how you feel on the handlebars.
There’s nothing to worry about the grips as most of the grips will fit on any handlebars. If you are going to install the brake levers, they require to be set up, must not touch on the grips, and prevent the grips from being inducted to the handlebars.
You will require to mount the breaking and shifting levers. Make sure to have enough time in mounting this so that the grips are placed jointly with the levers comfortably for you to easily manipulate the bike.