View Full Version : 29 wheels - Gary Fisher got too much time on his hands?"

Tim David
08-06-01, 13:40
Gary Fisher has been showing everybody who cares to look his 29 bikes. Other small frame builders in the US are starting to make them. What's it all about? Hype or progress?"

Dylan Lang
08-06-01, 13:41
GF ego I reckon... I really can't see it catching on for practical reasons if nothing else...

Dave Carlson
08-06-01, 13:55
Size isn't everything...

Liam Flanagan
08-06-01, 13:57
But GF obviously reckons that 3 can make a lot of difference!"

Dave Carlson
08-06-01, 13:59
Bet it's still the same width as everyone elses. If not a bit thinner!

Stuart Nicolson
08-06-01, 14:00
100% Hype. I'll await the singlespeed versions with interest.I can see the problems. Like not being able to get tyres, rims, tubes and spokes very easily. And heavier wheels accelerating more slowly, and general incompatibility with everything currently available.The advantages, apart from those for GF's bank balance of course, might be better rolling in rough terrain and fashion value.Though of course I don't wish to be cynical...

Scoop Doggy Dog
08-06-01, 14:08
Thanks to being a cheap little media whore I'll be one of Gary's band of 29 wheel acolytes riding round the Red Bull. They actually might be an advantage on that sort of cyclo cross style course, but we'll see.GT tried something almost identical in 1991 (but significantly didn't bother gain for 1992 as far as I can remember) "

Tim David
08-06-01, 14:09
Is there a difference between 29 and 700c.Is GF's bike just a fancy cylocross bike with flat bars or dare I say it, a hybrid. That doesn't sound so cool now does it."

Scoop Doggy Dog
08-06-01, 14:16
29 and 700c are the same thing, so yes they really are hybrids in mountain bike clothing.I've heard the team kit is going to be a skinsuit with a pastel cardigan knotted round the waist with immaculate white leather trainers and ANSI approved side parting wigs instead of helmets. Possibly. "

Stuart Nicolson
08-06-01, 14:21
Scoop, so I'll recognise you when you pass me at the RBMM. You'll be the man on the bike equivalent of a monster truck without the silly whispy beard.And if you don't overtake me there's something seriously wrong with the 29 wheel concept.;-)"

Ashley Wright
08-06-01, 14:41
Scoop, I think Burwell is on your team too. IS this the Gary Fisher Allstars - does this mean you get to share a tent with Paula? ;-)

Tim David
08-06-01, 14:43
Incidentally, is it legal to ride a 29er at an MTB race?I know cyclocross bikes are banned and they have drops, 29" wheels and 1.5inch tyres.But if you can ride 29" wheeled MTBsor26" wheeled MTBs with 1.5" tyres or evena Tomac style drop handlebar MTBwhy ban cyclocross Bikes?hmmmm..."

Dylan Lang
08-06-01, 14:47
In general, I don't think that cycloX bikes are banned for MTB races although they might be for the redbull.IIRC there are actually no regulations at all for MTB racing - I'll have a check on the

Dylan Lang
08-06-01, 14:48
Ignore that link

Dylan Lang
08-06-01, 14:48
Ignore that one too.

Dylan Lang
08-06-01, 14:54
OK, I take it back, there are 3 rules:1) Bicycles must be powered by human-power alone2) No metal studs in tyres3) Wheels must not be bigger than 26 inches.But CycloX wheels with skinny tyres probably aren't any bigger than MTBs with 2 knobblies so I wonder if they're allowed or if it's the rim diameter that's fixed. Probably the latter"

Dylan Lang
08-06-01, 14:56
Aha, I think I've got the link sorted:

Stuart Nicolson
08-06-01, 14:58
Third time lucky ;-)

Tim David
08-06-01, 14:58
So that settles it. Gary Fisher's All Stars are going to race on illegal, overhyped, hybirds at the red bull.Good luck to them all! ;-)

Tim David
08-06-01, 14:59
What exactly is a hybird? Sorry!

Dylan Lang
08-06-01, 15:01
And to think that it's my programming that keeps beer flowing out of the taps in the pubs...Scary...

Stuart Nicolson
08-06-01, 15:02
It's a bike that takes all the weaknesses of a road bike and combines them with all the weaknesses of a mountain bike to make a bike that's too flimsy to ride offroad and too slow to use as a road bike.Their natural habitat would appear to be the shed or the back of the garage, though when young they briefly hang out in city parks, cycle trails and canal towpaths.

Dylan Lang
08-06-01, 15:05
Hybrids.... Room 101's too good for em...

Stuart Nicolson
08-06-01, 15:11
There's a few things I'd put into room 101 if I could. Chainsuck, wet duckboards and replacable mech hangers made out of shiny silver plasticine.Don't see anyone ever out-doing Spike Milligan, he tried to put his own house in Room 101 but I can't remember if Paul Merton let him.

Dave FSR
08-06-01, 16:33
talking of shiny silver plasticine, my pedals (M545s) have been worn away by the sole pattern on my cycling shoes. The rubber is not visibly worn, but the pattern is now engraved into the metal! pretty odd!Yeah, it's true, you never see a well used hybrid, do you?!I wonder if Gary Fisher reckons he'll get the UCI rules to change?! And what's he using, cyclocross rims?I take it that the UCI rules allow 24 rules with big tires, yeah?"

David Parr
08-06-01, 16:44
But since 26 is the diameter of the edge of the tyre, not the diameter of the rim, the rule's a bit un-enforceable, the 24" brigade had all sorts of problems with the UCI, until they pointed out this little matter. If the 29" tyre has the same OD as a 26" tyre, it's legal. The main thing here is that GF has again missed out a crucial question, he's a "why not?" kind of guy, which is all very well, but you need to have a "why" to begin with."

Francis Devonshire
08-06-01, 17:19
Hybrids. Pretty decent commuter bikes. I wouldn't want to commute on an mtb or a full on road bike. But my ali framed hybrid is spot on. However, if anyone wants to start a thread on the ultimate commuter bike, I'd be happy to read it.

Dave FSR
08-06-01, 17:57
i reckon a nice rigid kona with slicks beats a hybrid any day. Better handling.Yeah, i just checked and 26 is the OD of the tire. That's really stupid. So the UCI are actually placing regulations on tire size too...I disagree that you need to have a 'why' to begin with. Yes, you need a 'why' before going ahead with production, but if no-one ever thought of new ideas until the need was severe, you'd not get a lot of beneficial changes. Something doesn't have to be bad to be improved.Take for example riser bars. There's no good reason why flat bars are bad as such, but many people now prefer risers (and not just cos they look better, lol!) but trying out new things is always a good thing. Yeah, i think GF is a bit crazy on this one, but it's good to experiment."

Nik Johnson
08-06-01, 17:57
didn't fisher ride the RB last year on his big arse MTB?? My mate said he was passed by this very quick american bloke on a feckin huuuge bike.

Dave FSR
08-06-01, 18:06
I suppose one thing that big wheels might be good for is big frame sizes. You know how big frames like 21 and stuff look really goofy and handle dodgily? Maybe they'd be better proportioned with 29" wheels?"

Simon XC Superstar Lingard
08-06-01, 18:27
29 inchers would be really weak though: Short spokes = strong wheel

Tom Lovelock
08-06-01, 18:31
thats a good point but after ridin hybrids b4 they fell very dodgy on anything rougher than block paving, whether meeeeeister fisher can do any better is something we will have to wait and see.

David Parr
08-06-01, 22:59
I'm all for beneficial changes, but I can't see how making wheels larger, therefore weaker and tyres narrower and therefore less cushioning for the rims is going to help anyone ride faster. You can already get little tyres for your 26 wheels, you need longer chainstays for sensible on 29" wheels so the wheelbase will have to be longer, worse for climbing grip. Why? What's the advantage. In this case, once they why? had been answered with "no reason" the "why not?" can be answered with a number of objections. All negative and no positive does not an improvement make."

Toni Ertl
09-06-01, 00:39
They should ride better over undulating ground, since the wheel will tend to fall into pot holes etc less than a smaller wheel. If carefully thought out and built then they might well be more flexible, thus absorbing trail buzz etc. And yes, they should stop bigger MTBs looking really stupid! (must be worth something in itself).Do cyclo X wheels collapse every ride? Thought not. If this is for racing and distance work on relatively even courses then they might have some advantage. If you have a course with lots of climbs, descents and drops, where the bike required frequent stopping and starting then they'll be less good than standard. It should be a case of tailoring wheel size to the course.

David Parr
09-06-01, 19:34
But the OD of the tyre is supposed to be the same, so it won't roll any better, plus flex in the wheel will be hugely counteracted by the narrower tyres, which is comfier, a 3 tyre on a stiff bike or a 1" tyre on a flexy one? Cyclo cross wheels are (for an equivalent weight) not as strong as XC mtb ones. Also, having the rim that bit further aout, and therefore the spoke nipples, the weight is concentrated further towards the outside of the rim making acceleration and braking less good and slowing you down."

Barry B
09-06-01, 23:31
These things sound great for fast, un-technical courses. Wouldn't drops also be quite good on these courses? And what about some nice cantis to save some weight?Oh, that'll be cyclocross then.Isn't this a prosses known as circular evoloution"? "

David Parr
10-06-01, 12:11
I used to race cyclo cross on my MTB until the club banned them, not happy with a few MTBers turning up with flatties and fat tyres and beating them every fortnight (not me, I've got some mates who CAN ride though) I don't think that cyclocross bikes are well suited to cyclocross tracks, they are better suited to XC MTB courses, which in my experience are easier, technically at least.

tony mcgarley
10-06-01, 18:51
sounds like GF is bored. i remember in the 70's when the Austin Allegro (all-aggro) came out with a revolutionary new (steering) wheel. it was square with rounded corners! honest.that too was a sh!te waste of time.

matt cotterill
10-06-01, 19:25
also having a larger rim means more metal = more weight. bad methinks

Grahame Baker
11-06-01, 09:38
I thought that the 29 wheels being hyped by GF and a few others in the states relied on a reasonably heavy duty tyre from WTB, I think, in about a 1.9" width being available.This would surely make the OD larger.Rules, rules.Lets see if it works."

Dave Smith
11-06-01, 10:04
Diamondback did this 6 years ago and the concept was so fantastic and so well recieved that all you'll see off-road now are DiamondBacks with 29 wheels. Look there goes another one."

Jon Hall
11-06-01, 12:02
21 inch frames may look goofy, but not as goofy as I'd look (at a very leggy 6'5 and lardy 17 stone) bending another gigantic seatpost in half on anything smaller."

Leftover Lefley
11-06-01, 15:21
I'd agree with Jon, my 20 kona has me looking perched on top of it at 6'3"ish, whereas my dale in XrtaLard size doesn't look as bad as the tubes are more like scaffolding poles than the steel matchstiks on my Kona.If GF does manage to make it will he produce it in a full size range? A 14" frame might look a bit odd, with very strange geometry."

David Parr
29-06-01, 12:16
All the names and numbers on tyres and wheels are ARSE, 26 wheels (559mm diameter) are more like 24", 29" 700mm diameter wheels are more like 27".I agree that in principle a bigger bike should have bigger wheels, but I think that since smaller wheels work "better" for the task at hand they make more sense, maybe smaller bikes should be using 24" ers, not the bigger ones using 29"ers."

Mike Davis
29-06-01, 12:33
559 is the outside diameter of the _rim_. 26in is roughly the OD of the tyre (depends on the tyre, obviously). Fisher's bikes have 700c (road bike size) rims shod with proper fat tyres giving an overall wheel diameter of 29in ish. The wheelbase isn't all that much longer - check out the tiny clearance behind the seat tube. Nor is it Gary's idea - as others have pointed out, Diamondback and GT both had 700c wheeled bikes ages ago (but only with skinny tyres). And Willits, WTB (handy, as they make rims and tyres...) and other small builders have been quietly turning out 29inchers for about three years. Mike.

brant@ on-one.co.uk
29-06-01, 16:21
Most of the benefits" that Guy points out in his review would seem to be "benefits' that could be gained using heavy tyres and rims...ie: great rolling momentum... I've actually thought about this a bit - in steady state seated climbing, I've always thought that my bike with a 2.3in Tioga DH (a heavy tyre) on the back rolled up and over things well - the momentum generated (or conserved) pushing the bike uphill. But you try convincing people :-)Now if you read closely between (and not so closely) the lines of Guys review of the 29in'er, you'll see that many of the traits (often seen as negative) of heavy tyres and rims are now benefits as far as the 29in wheels go. Sure - the larger radius/diameter of the wheelset must help, but that said, a 2.3in tyre is big - very big, and for a given weight, the smaller rim size of a 26in rim allows a larger air space and stronger wheel compared to going to 700c/29in.Where it all goes south is front end handling, where the excessive weight of the front wheel makes for large gyroscopic moments being fed through the steering (the big wheel is spinning and it don't want to turn). Sure, this gives stability though rock gardens at speed, but doesn't do much for fast singletrack, weavy weavy though the trees. I think 29in wheels as Fisher has adopted will make a nice "tall old mans" bike. Not sure they're any use to the rest of us though, but I understand what he's saying..."

29-06-01, 18:04
first 24 now 29" what next 5" tires oops probally spoke too soon!"

William of the Hearted Bl
05-03-14, 19:06
GF ego I reckon... I really can't see it catching on for practical reasons if nothing else...


05-03-14, 22:15
Good find!

(the thread not the video)