I do not like "96ers"/"69ers"/50-50/Hybrid 26/29 bikes.
There!........................I said it! I recently was quoted on a post on Twenty Nine Inches that Tim Grahl authored on his experiences aboard a Carver Bikes 96er. This has started quite a dust up. Of course, if you've hung out 'round this blog for awhile, you already know that I'm not a fan.
It's funny how people read the words that you write. Some folks out there apparently think I'm a militant anti-96er freak that is foaming at the mouth whenever the mere mention of mixing my beloved 29 inch wheel with another wheelsize is heard. Nothing could be further from the truth.
Then there are those that dismiss my opinion entirely based upon my lack of 50-50 bike riding experiences. To them I have posed this question: "Why would having a 29 inch front wheel change the way a 26 inch rear wheel behaves on a mountain bike?" So far, I've gotten one response, and that was that it doesn't change a thing about the rear wheels behaviour. Apparently, no one is making the leap here, so let me spell it out plainly. 29 inch rear wheels are superior for off road cycling for several reasons, in most cases. There are a few cases where I would grant that a 26 inch rear wheel would be more desireable, but just a few, odd cases. Okay, with that said, since it doesn't really matter if you have a front wheel that's 26 or 29 inches as far as how a rear 26 inch wheel performs, then why should I bother with a 69er?
For most trail riding, I believe a full on 29"er is better. And especially for me. I can base that on eighteen years worth of riding the 26 inch wheels. I raced, I rode in mountains, I rode all over the place. 29"ers are just plain ol' better for me. You? Well, I believe that it'd probably be better for you, but you will have to judge for yourself. In the end, all I will really care about is that you all ride your bikes and ride them often. It's a good thing............
no matter what wheel size you choose!