Well, they are at it again! Just when you think it's going to die down and go away, up it pops again! The debate on wheelsize just won't go away. I say it's a fruitless pursuit. I've listed my reasonings before, but here they are again. I'll try to be brief!
1. Testing procedures will require a high degree of accuracy to be acceptable. Can you say "money"? People seem to desire that this question be resolved by scientific method. How is it that journalists can be regarded as scientists, or trusted to be impartial. We are talking about cycling journos here. Cyclists have to be some of the most passionate people I know!
2. It fails to be realized that it's more than just 29" wheels. It's a specific geometry. It's a standard for suspension forks that hasn't even been worked out yet. It's about a different skill set required to ride 29"er bikes. These things have to be factored in to get good results.
3. The Human Factor. There are going to be as many possible results as there are humans for any particular set of test bikes. Think about it. Is someone going to win the Tour de France because they are riding a Trek Madone this year? How do you get a human pool of 29"er test pilots large enough to obtain a representative sample?
4. Do I even need a scientific study? I already know how 26 inch wheels work for me. I've ridden them for fouteen years off road exclusively. I have ridden 29 inch wheels for three years exclusively. I can already say without reservation that the 29"er does so many things better with me onboard that I don't want to go back to 26 inch wheels. Is a scientific study going to negate that? Not!
There are some things that readily come to mind, but there are more. Let's just leave it at that. In conclusion, I say let them test away! It'll be fine entertainment, even if it is inconclusive, which it's bound to be.
Meanwhile, I'll be out riding my 29"er if ya need me. Ride what makes you smile!