Understanding a 29er Mountain Bike
Typically, mountain bikes come in 24-, 26-, 27.5- and 29-inch wheel sizes. The smaller the size, the less grip and harder it is to ride over rough terrain. While each size has its own benefits, many people choose 29 inches, or the 29er, because it provides the utmost in flexibility.
The main reasons to choose a bike with 29-inch wheels are:
- Better momentum
- Better grip and less sliding
- Optimal for going over rocks and trail obstacles
- The best choice for taller riders
There are some downsides that need to be noted with the 29er as well. These include:
- Heavier in overall weight
- Slower when trying to accelerate
If you play on using your bike for cross country or BMX, the 29er may not be the best option. While there are some 29ers that come with lightweight rims, this is normally only seen on high-end models.
If you have a choice and are not a cycler, we recommend getting a 29er. They simply provide more riding options and the lack of initial acceleration power is offset once you gain more momentum or when going downhill. Overall, it is a better choice unless you are racing due to the slower acceleration speed at the start.
The Top Bikes to Choose From
The following bikes are among our top picks and all come with a 29-inch wheel size.
Ghost SE 2950 Hardtail Bike 2013
The SE 2950 2013 bike is affordably priced, has 3 frame options, 40cm – 44cm and comes with the desirable 29-inch wheel size. There is a lot to love about this bike, and it only weighs 14.7kg. This bike features:
- Shimano 10-speed derailleur.
- Shimano shifter levelers.
- Tektro HDC 300 disc brakes.
- Tapered headtube to ensure durability.
This is a terrific 29er that is more affordable than most models that are on our list. For under $1,000, you would have a difficult time finding a 29er that beats this bike.
The absolute best 29er mountain bike on our list. The Cube AMS 100 is out of the average bike rider’s budget, but this does not mean it isn’t a fantastic option. This bike comes with the follow specifications:
- Frame size 53 – 58.5 cm.
- Weight of just 11.55 kg.
- Rear shock.
- Carbon frame.
This is the perfect example of a bike that is lightweight, yet features the 29er wheel size. At just 11.55 kg, the speed loss seen should not be noticeable and this bike will be a pleasurable, fast ride that is unmatched thanks to the rear shocks and carbon frame.
The Top 10 Mountain Bike Brands
There are dozens of brands that could make our list of the top 10 mountain bike brands, but we narrowed down our list to the ones that provide the most options and utmost in durability. Most of these brands are less main stream and prefer to remain this way to focus on a quality product and not churn numbers.
Our top 10 list includes the following:
Yeti is a lesser-known company from Colorado that focuses on design and functionality. The Yeti brand of bikes may be small, but their high-end bikes are made to be some of the lightest, yet durable, models on the planet.
Giant has been around since 1972 and provides high-end bikes for the advanced rider. The XTC Advanced SL 2012 is just one of the many bikes that dons the Giant name and is exceptional.
3. Vitus Bikes
Vitus has a long history dating back to the 1970s in France. The company first developed just frames and went on to make the world’s first carbon fiber bike. Vitus provides bikes in the entry-level and high-end price ranges.
Ghost provides a wide array of bikes ranging from high-end models to low-end, entry level bikes. Ghost is a great overall manufacturer that focuses on durability and design while incorporating the best parts in the industry.
Cube may have a few lower-priced bikes in their lineup, but the manufacturer focuses mainly on competitive, high-end bikes. From full suspension to hardtail, you will find just about every bike in the Cube selection. The manufacturer focuses on quality and durability. For some of the best mountain bikes in the business, you must consider the Cube brand.
Commencal is the 6th company on our list and for good reason. The brand truly caters to the high-end, professional market with many of their bikes equipped with the best parts in the world. Commencal offers bikes for all ages from kids to adults.
7. NS Bikes
The NS Bikes name is an actual rebranding and was first introduced in 2004. The company is headed by biking enthusiasts and competitors. NS Bikes range from entry-level to high-end bikes meant for the biking professional. NS Bikes is a fast growing company and one we expect to rise on our list in the coming years.
Nukeproof is a brand that has been well-known since the early days of mountain biking. This company is formed by a group of professionals and enthusiasts that truly cater to the professional rider. Most models are high-priced, but the parts and quality provided are unmatched in the industry.
Sunn is the brand of choice for semi-pro and frequent riders. Sunn first began manufacturing bikes in the 1980s and was led by the founder of the Commencal brand until he left to form his own company. Sunn produces high quality mountain bikes at the mid-level price range.
Corratec is the last company to make our list. Corratec has been bringing the highest quality German designs to the market for over 20 years. The brand features entry-level through high-end bikes with a strong focus on quality parts and durability.
How to Build a Mountain Bike
Why Do People Build Their Own Mountain Bikes?
Riding on a heavy duty mountain bike, whether if it’s semi-casual riding or intense hillside exploring, can be adventurous and fun. There’s nothing that replaces the sensation of freely roaming about on a bike. Those with a bit of a deeper love for them tend to start building the bikes themselves at some point. But why, when you can order a custom bike for between $600 to a couple thousand?
Simple, that’s not exactly affordable. Many enthusiasts aren’t able to afford bikes at those prices so they tend to start purchasing parts independently to build the bike themselves. Anyone can build a mountain bike themselves with the proper tools, know-how, and resources.
What parts will you need?
It is imperative to determine how you’re be using the bike in the first place (cross county, downhill, all mountain). This will help you decide what parts you’ll need. Secondly, consider your budget. Suspension is usually the way to go. It’s a great way for new riders to get the hang of the handling and will save a lot of money.
Secondly, make sure to take note of your sizes. Everything will need to be ordered to specific prices for everything to work correctly. Purchasing items blindly is a horrible idea.
What you’ll need:
- A frameset (which includes the fork and the frame)
- The headset
- Suspension Parts
- Chains and Crankset
- The Bottom Bracket
How difficult is the process
Some of these parts will require specific tools to put them in place. There is an order to follow with everything. For beginners without much experience, it’s highly recommended to go to a local shop for assistance in this case. In that situation, it’s a learning experience and a professional is helping.