Recently, I took a little heat for suggesting that a certain sponsored team racer not consider a 29"er. He was concerned about his heigth, which was around 5'5", or so. (memory a little sketchy here!) Anyway, I told him that plenty of people ride 29"ers and are shorter than he. I did not recommend that he pursue the matter. I didn't dissuade him based upon his height, which many commenters supposed, but rather on the knowledge that he was sponsored by a brand that does not have a 29"er- yet!
This all got me to thinking. While there are plenty of shorter 29" riders out there, the prevailing school of thought is that they are only for tall people! What? Well then, explain this, 29"ers have gained a foothold in the Japanese market. Not noted for their immense numbers of tall people, the bicycle marketplace in Japan boasts many 29" production models not available in America. Why is that? Don't those companies know that 29"ers are only for tall people! Why on earth then would you market these bikes in Japan, a country not noted to have large numbers of "tall people". Could it be that there is an advantage to riding the bigger wheels that even short people can take advantage of? Hmmm...................I seem to remember that Mr. 24 even saw a few 29"ers at the Mighty Duro 24hr Race in Japan while he was there. He even saw a Karate Monkey, which I find a bit ironic, in a twisted sort of way! So, the question remains, why aren't 29"ers for shorter people? I'm listening! RE-ACT TO ME!!!