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Based on the answer from our email list contest, Bianchi was the first manufacturer to make an attempt on building a 29 inch bike. That was on the mid 1990′s! As 29inch bikes gain popularity, major manufacturers are jumping on the 29er bandwagon.
Here’s an excerpt from Wikipedia on the origins of the 29inch bike:
The term 29er or two-niner is a little misleading. The rims have a diameter of approximately 24.5″ (622 mm) and the average 29″ mountain bike tire has an outside diameter of about 28.5″ (724 mm), though tires exist with diameters of over 740mm. The typically 26er rim has a diameter of 22.0″ (559 mm) and an outside tire diameter of about 26.2″ (665 mm) Click here to keep reading.
The debate of whether the 29er is better than the 26er is still going. We have inlisted the help of a long time 29er rider, his input will be very valuable as we are just beginning to ride 29ers.