29-inch wheels are not new but they are dominating headlines like never before. For example, the 2021 Giant Reign 29 2 mountain bike is, as the name suggests, a 29-inch model. This big and beautiful bike on those big and bold wheels is attracting a lot of customer interest and we’re usually asked what difference does bigger wheels make. Our experience on the 29-inch Giant Reign has been awesome, but we thought we’d share the thoughts of an American rider who recently published a post on why 29-inch wheels are so big right now.
- Speed. While larger wheels obviously take more effort to get up to speed over smaller wheels, it’s much easier to maintain the pace once you’ve got the momentum. And, according to our rider in the States, he’s doing faster runs with big wheels because 29-inches makes the ride much smoother - and smooth means fast.
- Rollover. Since 29-inch wheels were first released, much of the talk centred on improved rollover capabilities. Bigger wheels roll over obstacles more easily than smaller wheels, and that has a lot to do with their higher attack angle in relation to obstacles. Our rider says that when coming into braking bumps, he gets the feeling that his 29-inch wheels stay on top of the trail chatter, as opposed to dropping down into them and slowing him down. This means he can carry his speed rather than get bogged down by obstacles.
- Traction. While climbing, your tyres are gradually losing traction which means you spin out and can’t make it up that steep hill. On the other side of the coin, losing traction while you’re going down usually ends in spectacularly disastrous fashion. Our rider found that one of the biggest advantages to a 29-inch wheel is the amount of tyre touching the ground at all times. It’s simple maths, and that extra tyre contact can provide a significant amount of added traction, especially when grip is already low.
We know for ourselves that the 29-inch diameter wheels give riders plenty to like. They roll over rugged enduro terrain with enhanced balance and stability, which gives you the momentum you require to make those tough climbs and the confidence you need to fly down those fast and technical descents. But is a 29-inch wheel right for you? Contact us, tell us what you want to get out of your bike and your ride and we’ll go through all of the options with you.