Well, it seems that the days of 29"ers being different, niche, a fad, or even unknown are about to fade into the depths of time. Now the last holdouts are caving in. 29"ers will soon just be another mountain bike.
Of course, I am being just a bit sarcastic, but only just a bit. I really do think 29"ers will become "just a mountain bike" someday, and the new offerings that are being shown here, and others to come, are hastening that day.
First, a comment about what I think of these companies coming on with 29"ers- I think it is great from a product standpoint. More accessories, more aftermarket parts, and more price points will be targeted with 29"er specific designs. It'll be easier to get stuff, and the days of trying to find a Fisher dealer to get tires and tubes will be long gone. (Remember that? And remember trying to find a Fisher dealer that knew anything about 29"ers? )
I don't like a couple things about it. First, the limited selections and limited price points these two specific brands are bringing. Maybe in time, we'll see better stuff from Scott and Giant in these two areas, but both companies are talking $1000 plus for these bikes. Which brings up another point- why do 29"ers cost so much more than similarly spec'ed 26"ers? The only big ticket item that would possibly make a difference here is the fork. And that can't be too different. That's always bothered me about production 29"ers. Maybe companies are losing their hindmost parts on 26"ers or something, but the price disparity raises my eyebrows. (Perhaps somebody can "'splain" that to me some day. I'm all ears!)
One might also say that other holdouts are out there yet as well. However; that may not be the case for long. Here's a few rumored 29"er entries and a confirmed one.....
Tomac Bikes Trek Santa Cruz Ibis
That doesn't leave much but free ride/All Mountain/down hill specific brands, and dirt jump brands.
Yep, 29"ers have come a long way since I started lookin' into them. Maybe Chris Sugai of Niner Bikes was right when he said that 29"ers would replace 26"ers as the mountain bike of choice in ten years. By the looks of it today, not many companies won't have at least one 29"er in their 2010 line up, that's for sure!
Then I can change my header, start writing about guitars, and ride more. People won't care about "29"ers", 'cause they will be just another mountain bike. Ha ha! We'll see...............