Monday, April 16, 2007

The 69er

Trek debuted the 69er at Sea Otter last year. From cyclingnews:

The 29in front wheel allegedly gives riders the “roll over anything" feeling up front, but the smaller 26in rear wheel apparently offers snappier acceleration.

Here's the single speed prototype from 2006.

This year, trek has added a geared hardtail and a full suspension version.

I understand the theory behind the 29er, but I am a little baffled by the 69er. Wouldn't the "snappier acceleration" of the 26" wheel be hampered by the resistance of the bigger wheel in front? And with the smaller wheel in back you'd lose the 29" advantage of "rolling over" obstacles. Other problem: you'd have to carry 2 different sizes of tubes with you, although if you're running tubeless, that wouldn't matter.

I haven't really looked into getting a 29er, first because I love my current bike and second because I didn't think I would gain an advantage, at 5'8" and 155 pds. It seems to me that taller and/or heavier riders would gain more benefit from the bigger wheels.

Interesting idea, kudos to Trek.


Jason said...

I agree, I'm a fan of the 29er, I have one with a 2nd on the way, but would not be in to the idea of the 69er. I like things a bit more uniform.

On a side note Davis Carver the owner of Carver Bikes and (my sponsor ;) has been making these for a few years now, and has recently come up with a FS version that will be able to go full 29er if you choose.

Too bad Caver didn't have the $$$$$ that Trek has for a freaking media blitz 3 years ago.


Matt said...

96/69 as a modifed 26 bike I can undertsnad - but a production bike - intentionally designed that way? That's nothing more than an over caffeinated Trek marketing type winning an argument with the design manager. Someone will be out of work next year.

29 is what you make of it. I tried it, I liked it and it works for me. Each wheel size has its unique advantage. If your fine with the current setup you have, then roll with it.

Oh - you can stretch a 26" tube on a 29 rim.

fasterjim said...

Jason and Matt-

Thanks for the comments. I think that when i am ready for new rig, I will look into the 29.