26 vs 29-inch wheeled DH bike comparison photo

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6/17/2019 2:34 PM
Edited Date/Time: 6/17/2019 2:38 PM

i put this on our instagram feed too, but check out kovarik on a 26" 2003-ish Intense M1 vs derrick nobman (OG as they come) on a 29er Session. kovarik did his seeding run on the M1 as a throwback thing, so the comparison is pretty cool to see. nobman is a large human and always dwarfed his DH bikes. it's rad to see how well big riders have it these days, even if derrick still seems too big for the bike. this was derrick's first ride on a DH bike in 11 years.



here's derrick on an iron horse Sunday from the mid-2000's!!! (image linked from sicklines)

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6/17/2019 4:44 PM

I got into DH in 2005 and everyone said ride a size down compared to your "XC" bike. Short bikes were more "flickable' and for better "handling" and long bikes were shunned. Lots of OTB and lots banging my knees on the bars. Ref photo of me at 6 'tall 215lb on a size SM/MED 26" wheeled Scott. Strange times indeed.

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6/17/2019 5:39 PM

holy cow!!!!!

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6/17/2019 6:34 PM

What is that?! A 36” wheelbase?

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6/17/2019 9:35 PM

Remember the first time you got on a bike with handlebars over 700mm wide?

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6/17/2019 9:53 PM

26 for life! I think bike wheel size should depend on rider and bike size. Smaller riders on small frame and 26 wheels, med on 27.5 and large on 29ers.

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2013 Intense Uzzi
2006 Santa Cruz Nomad
2000 Santa Cruz Bullit

6/18/2019 7:23 PM

I was just watching Seasons with my son. Just the thought of going downhill at mach stupid as some of those folks in the film did with 640 mm wide/3" high handlebars and the same wheelbase as a kid's trike made me shudder.

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6/19/2019 1:23 AM

29ers are the best! You remember when barefaced internet kids call 29 ers gay? Now majority of riders, including those kids, riding them in all kind of scenarios: xc, trail, enduro, dh...

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6/19/2019 5:57 AM

I wouldn't mind 26er with a current geo. Everyone is talking about 29er as being fantastic, which it is possible for very tall riders (over 1m90 I'd say) but not bringing much for other riders. Skills is the real differenciator, then geo, tyres, suspension quality and then wheel size maybe. At the park on a straight line fire road my 27.5 DH bike rolls faster than my friends' 29ers so the famous faster rolling thing depends on many more things that rim diameter itself. I bet a 26er with current geo would probably do as well as any other wheel size for DH use, maybe even Enduro.

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6/19/2019 6:49 AM
Edited Date/Time: 6/19/2019 6:49 AM

Bitumen83 wrote:

29ers are the best! You remember when barefaced internet kids call 29 ers gay? Now majority of riders, including those kids, riding them in all kind of scenarios: xc, trail, enduro, dh...

That’s because they don’t have a choice. When the manufacturers don’t make any other options, that’s what everyone is stuck with.

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2013 Intense Uzzi
2006 Santa Cruz Nomad
2000 Santa Cruz Bullit

6/19/2019 3:52 PM

I recall greg saying recently that he thinks modern frame geo and sizing makes a bigger difference than wheel size. Says a lot coming from the guy that basically brought 29 to DH.

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6/20/2019 8:56 AM

Alex Morgan - way ahead of his time.

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6/21/2019 1:58 PM

slimshady wrote:

I was just watching Seasons with my son. Just the thought of going downhill at mach stupid as some of those folks in the film did with 640 mm wide/3" high handlebars and the same wheelbase as a kid's trike made me shudder.

Sorry, but I highly doubt there was any riding in Seasons done on bars slimmer than 710 mm, honestly. It was the mid 2000's, people were riding over 700 mm already, but not much.

Now back to this cool thread!

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