I have been watching and reading with interest two developing trends lately. One has to do with the question of whether or not 26" wheels are more "efficient" than 29" wheels. The other trend is the "96er", "69er", .........or whatever you call it bike where you have the front wheel a 29"er and the rear wheel a 26"er. Both of these subjects have many people in a dither.
Let's take the efficiancy question on for a moment. I guess what people are trying to find out here is whether or not you expend less/ more energy, are therefore faster/ slower on 26" or 29" wheels. Variables exist in spades. There hasn't been anyone with enough money to afford the science it takes to make a conclusive judgement one way or the other. And what if there were a judgement? How would that account for the variance in humans, and human experience? If science were the determining factor in which bike were fastest and therefore more efficient, then single speeders would never win any races! Why would anyone ever ride a single speed? Perhaps it has nothing to do with science afterall.
Then throw in the..........I disdain the terminology they use for these bikes........"96ers". I call 'em "halfbreed" bikes. Anyway, take them....please! These are another variable in the equation that, again cannot be proven or disproven by science. I think that they are not the answer to the question, "Aren't they the best of "both" worlds?" I think they are a compromise, at best. I have written on these halfbreed bikes before, and I will again. Especially after I get my half breed bike finished, which should be pretty soon. Once the trails dry out, I'll do my own experiential testing, and relate that here on this forum as my opinion. The thing is, then no one can say, "Well, you've never tried one!" Why do people say that? Perhaps they don't trust science? Hmm.................
Science or experience? I am not going to wait for the lab coats to figure it out. I'm going to ride what feels best, performs best, and is the most fun for me. You can agree........or not! Or..........you could wait for the test results! The choice is yours.
I'm going riding today, how about you?