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Pslide's unscientific and pretty much useless comparison of 26" and 29" wheels

Discussion in 'Downhill & Freeride' started by Pslide, Aug 20, 2013.

  1. Pslide

    Pslide Turbo Monkey

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    Ever since I through a leg over the prototype Prime a few years back, I thought that this thing has got to be as fast as my DH bike. It rolls over stuff like a monster truck, flies great, it's light, amazing cornering grip, blah blah blah. So 2 years later I finally get to 7 springs, fired up Strava (first potential source of error), and did some comparative runs which I think were pretty close, not exactly fliers but I'm a bit out of practice anyway.

    Here is a handy comparison chart:

    [table="width: 500"]
    [tr]
    [td][/td]
    [td]Legend Mk2 (26")[/td]
    [td]Prime Proto (29")[/td]
    [/tr]
    [tr]
    [td]Size[/td]
    [td]L[/td]
    [td]XL[/td]
    [/tr]
    [tr]
    [td]Head Angle[/td]
    [td]64°[/td]
    [td]67.5°[/td]
    [/tr]
    [tr]
    [td]Wheelbase[/td]
    [td]47.3"[/td]
    [td]48.4"[/td]
    [/tr]
    [tr]
    [td]Chainstays[/td]
    [td]17.4"[/td]
    [td]17.8"[/td]
    [/tr]
    [tr]
    [td]BB Height[/td]
    [td]13.7"[/td]
    [td]13.2"[/td]
    [/tr]
    [tr]
    [td]Fork[/td]
    [td]Boxxer WC[/td]
    [td]Fox 34 Float 140mm[/td]
    [/tr]
    [tr]
    [td]Shock[/td]
    [td]CCDB[/td]
    [td]Fox DH Air[/td]
    [/tr]
    [tr]
    [td]Tires[/td]
    [td]Bontrager FR4 2.35 Handcuts[/td]
    [td]Maxxis Ardent 2.4[/td]
    [/tr]
    [tr]
    [td]Weight[/td]
    [td]38 lbs[/td]
    [td]33 lbs[/td]
    [/tr]
    [tr]
    [td]Time: EC1[/td]
    [td]1:50[/td]
    [td]1:51[/td]
    [/tr]
    [tr]
    [td]Time: 007-Glades-Helens[/td]
    [td]2:27[/td]
    [td]2:22[/td]
    [/tr]
    [/table]

    So the Prime was 5 seconds faster on the more pedally and less technical track (007). There are some big fast berms in the Glades which I thought might show up the 29in wheels weakness, but they weren't bad at all.

    The Legend and the Prime were about equal on the more technical EC1 track, which has tighter berms and some rocky areas. I thought the Legend would be much faster, as it felt more secure and planted and easy to toss around compared to the big wheels, but in the end they were about the same.

    Overall, I was much more comfortable on the Legend. I was probably riding the Legend at 70% of it's capability, whereas I felt I was riding the Prime at more like 90% of it's capability. The Prime was less forgiving and sketchy in spots, but considering it has 3" less travel that's too be expected.

    I felt like I was riding on top of the Prime and cornering felt a bit more "tippy", where as on the Legend I felt like I was riding in the bike and it had great stability and really natural in corners.

    I guess the biggest surprise was how the 29er wheels really did smooth out the rough stuff. They felt like they added a couple inches of travel to the bike. Some of the fast berms had a bit of choppiness to them which the Legend handled fine, but to my surprise the Prime also handled them fine due to the bigger wheels. The big wheels also seem to shrink rocks and roots before your eyes and I carried better speed over rugged sections.

    Overall, my choice was the Legend, although I'd race on the Prime if it was on a pedally track like 007.

    Is there room for a 29er DH bike? I used to think yes, the advantages of 29er wheels would outweigh the negatives. I'm not as sure now. It just doesn't feel quite right. There's a reason why Intense and Trek tried it and it didn't go anywhere. I guess 27.5 will be where it's at...

    I finished my day back on the Legend and can't remember my last run. Another rider "Joe" found me face down knocked out on the trail! As I came to I realized I was in pretty bad shape, but was able to eventually stand. They took me to the medics and later to the hospital. Concussion, bruised kidney, blood in urine, major trail rash, and hyperextension of my hip tendons which basically means I can hardly move my legs. But no broken bones or major internal injuries. I'm hobbling around on crutches. My TLD Carbon D2 had major scratches and is cracked on the side, if I wasn't wearing my neck brace...well I hate to think what would have happened. But want to say thanks to all the guys I rode with and helped me out, and the medics. Really great people on the hill that day. Fond memories despite it all!
     
    #1 -   Aug 20, 2013
    Last edited: Aug 20, 2013

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  2. Cant Climb

    Cant Climb Turbo Monkey

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    7 Springs is not real DH though.

    It's part Bike Park and part "back yard DH".

    ohhh....Hope you heal up, that sounds horrible.
     
    #2 -   Aug 20, 2013
    Last edited: Aug 20, 2013
  3. Sandwich

    Sandwich Pig my fish!
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    da fuq?

    "oh, another anecdotal wheel size comparison...ho hum....oh wait...damn!"

    I hope you're OK dude. Get well soon.
     
  4. amishmatt

    amishmatt Turbo Monkey

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    I'd guess the lighter weight of the 29er was a big factor at 7. It's pretty flat and pedally, especially the Glades.

    Where did you crash/wake up?
     
  5. jonKranked

    jonKranked Press Button, Receive Stupid

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    did you yell "strava" every run? if not, results invalidated.
     
  6. mattmatt86

    mattmatt86 Turbo Monkey

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    While I appreciate the comparison (I love my 29er), 7 springs isn't the place for comparing a DH bike to anything. I raced there once a couple years ago and thought it was a joke that the race was actually called "DH". I'm pretty sure the guy that won my age group raced on a Specialized SX.
     
  7. Pslide

    Pslide Turbo Monkey

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    Yeah, fair enough, 7 springs is flat and lame compared to most. Especially 007.

    The steeper it gets the more I'd favor the Legend. The rock drop under the lift felt a little hairy on the Prime.

    I was found napping in the middle of EC1. I don't have any memory of the crash, but I'm pretty sure it was when you pop out of the woods after the switchbacks, there is a little double and I was just beyond that. Very tame part of the course, don't know what happened, might have slipped a pedal going into it and got bucked over the front?
     
  8. Pslide

    Pslide Turbo Monkey

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    PS - I said it was pretty much useless comparison didn't I?
     
  9. Sandwich

    Sandwich Pig my fish!
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    well you didn't die on the 29er, so that's means it better...right?
     
  10. atrokz

    atrokz Turbo Monkey

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    So in conclusion, the DH bike is faster on a DH course, whereas the 29" trail bike is faster than the DH bike on trails. And, DH bikes are more apt to injure you.

    Mind is blown!
     
  11. SkullCrack

    SkullCrack Monkey

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    What I got out of this is 29ers prevent concussions.
     
  12. rav400

    rav400 Monkey

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    Pslide,
    Good riding with you on Sunday. I was riding on the white M6 with gold handlebars. Were you able to get back home ok? Heal up quick.
     
  13. Pslide

    Pslide Turbo Monkey

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    Yeah, wife and her friend came and got me. She's a saint. And she's got to dress my wounds twice a day!

    So, if I follow the logic, 26" bikes are dangerous? Holy crap, your right...I can see it clearly now! Look at the statistics! Matti, Dan A, Rachel A, Sam H, Cam Cole, on and on...all had big crashes on 26" wheels! Never crashed on 29". And how many championships also thrown away due to 26" wheels? Sam Hill in Val di Sole, Steve Peat in Les Gets... It's all crystal clear now!
     
  14. Pslide

    Pslide Turbo Monkey

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    PS - I may still be suffering from concussion side effects.

    In fact, that may explain why I posted in the first place.
     
  15. blindboxx2334

    blindboxx2334 Turbo Monkey

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    HA love this place.. i thought everyone just thought you were crazy by all the 'get well soon' notes.. but i see otherwise now.

    get better buddy!
     
  16. blindboxx2334

    blindboxx2334 Turbo Monkey

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    oh.. and you dont have pictures. pictures always win against no pictures!! ;)


     
  17. BigBoi

    BigBoi Monkey

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    Hahahahahah! I love that ad! Every time I see it I crack up!

    It perfectly describes how 27.5 is in between 26 and 29. F*cking Brilliant! As though we didn't know that.
     
  18. Sandwich

    Sandwich Pig my fish!
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    but it's not! 650b is 650b and not 27.5.

    I'm also not totally sure how all this stuff isn't linear. Not that I do science for a living or anything.
     
  19. William42

    William42 fork ways

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    Fist bump. Going through the same thing with a broken ankle, hope you heal up as quick! People helping you out when you just took a bad fall and incapacitated is one of the best things ever. Hope your legs/hips heal up quick
     
  20. marshalolson

    marshalolson Turbo Monkey

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    ha, right? bending statistics and ratios to suit your needs is awesome.
     
  21. blindboxx2334

    blindboxx2334 Turbo Monkey

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    me too, just needed an excuse to post again.

    i love how they break it down all super simple and everything.. kinda like giant thinks were stoooopid.