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29er Mountain Bikes

The term 29er or "two-niner" refers to 29" wheels rather than the 26" wheels more common to mountain biking. 29" or 700c wheels and tires are the type used in cyclocross or road racing. Various incarnations of the 29er were introduced to little success in the 90s and early 2000s. Bianchi USA introduced it's line of 29er "Project" bikes in 1991 and Diamondback created a bike called the Overdrive in the mid 1990s. The idea began to take hold among small circles of riders in the early 2000s when some niche bike makers like Surly (Karate Monkey Frameset) began to offer big wheeled bikes. 29ers didn't really take off until Gary Fisher introduced the single-speed "Rig" in 2004. Today there are many quality 29er forks and tires available and almost every major bike maker is offering a 29er. More about the benefits and drawbacks of 29ers

29 in 29'er Pacific Men's Rook Mountain Bike, Red
29 in 29'er Pacific Men's Rook Mountain Bike, Red
   $127.99
2011 Orbea Alma 29er Carbon Hardtail Mountain Bike 20.5
2011 Orbea Alma 29er Carbon Hardtail Mountain Bike 20.5" Large SRAM
   $799.99
Med Transition Bandit 29er Full Susp XC Mtn Bike Sram X9 10-spd FOX Thomson XT
Med Transition Bandit 29er Full Susp XC Mtn Bike Sram X9 10-spd FOX Thomson XT
   $1,100.00
2010 Gary Fisher HiFi Pro 29er, Size M - INV-11622
2010 Gary Fisher HiFi Pro 29er, Size M - INV-11622
   $652.51
Foundry Broadaxe Carbon 29er Large Rigid Hardtail gravel race
Foundry Broadaxe Carbon 29er Large Rigid Hardtail gravel race
   $1,199.00
2017 Cannondale Trail 4 29er Mountain Bike-Size XL-Acid Green
2017 Cannondale Trail 4 29er Mountain Bike-Size XL-Acid Green
   $699.99
2014 Giant Talon 29er 2, Size M - INV-7803
2014 Giant Talon 29er 2, Size M - INV-7803
   $491.54
Diamondback Overdrive Expert 29er Mountain Bike - Nashbar Exclusive
Diamondback Overdrive Expert 29er Mountain Bike - Nashbar Exclusive
   $449.99
2014 Specialized Stumpjumper Comp 29er, Size 19
2014 Specialized Stumpjumper Comp 29er, Size 19" - INV-13013
   $993.18
Intense Cycles Carbine 29 Frame FS Carbon Fiber 29er MTB Mountain Bike Medium
Intense Cycles Carbine 29 Frame FS Carbon Fiber 29er MTB Mountain Bike Medium
   $1,170.00
New Niner EMD 9 White S Mtb Mountain Bike Frame 29 29'er Small
New Niner EMD 9 White S Mtb Mountain Bike Frame 29 29'er Small
   $489.00
2014 Specialized Crave 29er Great Condition!!!  Rox Shox  Size Large 19
2014 Specialized Crave 29er Great Condition!!! Rox Shox Size Large 19" Frame
   $775.00
Diamondback Bicycles Overdrive 29er Complete READY RIDE Hardtail Mountain Bik...
Diamondback Bicycles Overdrive 29er Complete READY RIDE Hardtail Mountain Bik...
   $874.95
Diamondback Overdrive Expert 29er Mountain Bike - Nashbar Exclusive
Diamondback Overdrive Expert 29er Mountain Bike - Nashbar Exclusive
   $449.99
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There has been much debate over the benefits and drawbacks of 29er bikes over the years. In general, proponents of the 29er platform point to the ability of big wheels to more easily roll over obstacles due to the decrease in approach angle. Others feel like the larger wheels offer a better fit for taller riders and don't sink into soft surfaces like mud and sand as easily as smaller wheels do.

29er skeptics cite increased wheel weight, reduction in lateral stiffness and poor geometry for smaller riders to be key drawbacks. Whatever camp you're in, it's hard to peg the 29er as a passing fad, increase sales over the past few year insure that big wheels on mountain bikes are here to stay.