I’ve owned two 29er bikes and so far, I have not really bought the whole “29er inches is overall better” idea. However, I can say that there is one noticeable advantage on owning a hardtail 29er versus owning a hardtail 26er: comfort.
KHS Team Alite
I posted before that I’m pretty much new to riding a hardtail, I’ve ridden full suspension bikes most of the time.
Since my current Full Suspension bike weighs about 34lbs, I recently built a 23.5lb hardtail racing machine that would allow me to try to keep up with my friends. Riding this bike really made me miss my 6 inches of rear suspension.
KHS Solo One
I came across a deal that I couldn’t pass up on a KHS Solo One 29er, this bike is a singlespeed and it is fully rigid. I rode the bike 3 times with this setup, but my wrists and shoulders couldn’t take the pounding so I installed a modified (100mm instead of the 80mm) RockShox Reba Fork. After a couple of rides, I’ve noticed something… I didn’t miss my full suspension bike!!! Per the recommendation of Jeremy, I’ve been riding with the minimum tire pressure recommended. I can honestly say that the big wheels are super cushy and riding with this setup has been totally fun. I no longer worry about picking the ‘perfect’ line, and if there are ruts or bumps, the front suspension along with the 29er wheels really mute the shock to my body that I experience with my Alite. If you are a hardtail lover, I think that you will benefit from riding a 29er.