Mountain Gear

26 Vs. 29: Three Sweet 29ers

29er frames, wheel and tire technology has evolved significantly over the last few years and are key in allowing top racers win big races on big wheels. There is now very little disadvantage — in terms of weight and tire technology — associated with 29ers.

Gary Fisher Super Fly: National Champion Pedigree $4,200 (complete)
Gary Fisher Super Fly: National champion pedigree $4,200 (complete)

GARY FISHER SUPER FLY: National Champion Pedigree $4,200 (complete)
The carbon SuperFly took three national championships this year and three of the top five spots on the men’s national championship cross-country podium. These results are hard to argue with, so we won’t. For 2010, Fisher presents the SuperFly with a Subaru- Gary Fisher team paint scheme and SRAM’s ‘Design Your Ride,’ color matched Redwin X.0 components. Also new for 2010, is the option of a single speed frameset (SuperFly SS frame and Fox F29 Fit RLC G2 offset fork) with adjustable slider dropouts.

Niner EMD9: Budget by Price Only $500 (frame only)
Niner EMD9: Budget by Price Only $500 (frame only)

NINER EMD9: Budget by Price Only $500 (frame only)
Niner’s 7005 series E.M.D. 9 (Eat My Dust) shares many of its tube shapes and design attributes with the Scandium tubed Air 9, Niner’s premier alloy hardtail. The main design goal of both bikes is to dispel the myth that aluminum can only have a harsh ride. A medium E.M.D. 9 frame weighs 3.6-pounds. It would have been easy for Niner to command twice the price for this frame, but they didn’t and because of that we’ll recommend it to you.

Salsa Dos Niner: Smooth Scandium $2595 (complete)
Salsa Dos Niner: Smooth Scandium $2595 (complete)

SALSA DOS NINER: Smooth Scandium $2595 (complete)
Salsa is pushing the envelope when it comes to 29-inch full suspension bikes, and its Dos Niner can be thanked starting its charge. The 1-inch of pivotless suspension travel is just enough to complement the larger wheels ability to take the edge off. The frame is made from Salsa’s own custom drawn Scandium alloy. The complete bike comes with a complement of Salsa’s own components and a Shimano XT group.

Find out more about the 29er Vs. 26er debate.