Which is actually faster? 26" vs. 29er

12 December 2012  |   |   6 Comments

Ever find yourself wondering which is actually faster between a 29er and a 26inch XC bike? Aiden Bishop was, so he conducted some tests.. Check it out.

Here's what Aiden had to say...
I was keen to find out just how much faster a 29er is over a 26" wheeled bike. So I pitched my Cannondale Scalpel carbon 26" wheeled bike up against a Cannondale Flash Carbon 29er. Fitted with the same Maxxis tyres on the same Mavic Crossmax SLR wheels, same track, same day, same rider...the results were conclusive!

Do you agree? Share your experiences with both wheel sizes...

26 vs. 29er

Credit: Aiden Bishop


RESTLESS said on: 12 December 2012 10:50

29er's just look wrong!!

AngusMcIntosh replied on: 12 December 2012 12:35

It's funny I was having this conversation just yesterday and occasionally i see a 26" bike and think wow that's got small wheels it must be a 24" or something crazy. I'm just becoming more and more used to seeing 29er's on the trails and I almost think they are starting look like the norm!

duffyc said on: 12 December 2012 19:26

I owned both a 29er and 26er for about 6 months, and 9 times out of the 10 would always take the 29er.

I've now got rid of the 26er, and have a full suss 29er and hardtail 29er.

The only people who don't rate them are people who haven't tried one (or at least a good one, as some of the lower end stuff is open to questions) or those crazy downhiller types.....where I can totally see the benefit of the smaller wheels, for flickability (is that a word?)
For XC, they are faster, not doubt about it in my mind.

mallorcadave said on: 14 December 2012 17:57

speed isnt everything the comments about the 26s being better in tight turns and being more flickable is probably more telling for the average trail rider
perhaps 650b is the best compromise for general trail and all mountain/enduro riding. i will wait and see!

zmc888 said on: 18 December 2012 04:55

I think it just depends on what you are doing. If someone wins enduro or DH events consistently on a 29er or 650B that will really put the cat amongst the pigeons.

oodboo said on: 21 December 2012 12:09

And the award for worst video soundtrack goes to.... seriously, I though there was a problem with my compter when the music started.

What's faster? Unless you are racing then does it matter. Ride what you like but if you like a 26" hardtail get one now before they go extinct. For what it's worth I prefer my 29er hardtail over the 26er hardtail I used to have.

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