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Old 07-27-2013, 04:43 AM
casdave casdave is offline
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Join Date: Mar 2000
Posts: 8,212
A well designed suspension set up does mitigate the issues that smaller wheeled machines run into when facing rough terrain, but its a fact that larger wheels handle rough ground better.

As an extreme example, think of the Ordinary - with its very large front wheel - it was (and is) surprisingly able and comfortable on badly made surfaces. The other end of it is the Moulton/Brompton small wheeler - even with suspension they are just plainly not suited to ruts, bumps, rocky trails.

The 29 inch wheel will handle rough terrain better than the standard wheel but will be poorer at direction changes - smaller wheels tend to steer faster.

The difference is pretty small in this case, it can causes compromises in suspension design, but when you have some riders who are well over 6' this is going to be more suited to them.

If you are going new, then you look at the price and spec, if you are going to the used market then you'll get better value on standard machines because they are suddenly less trendy- in this case you will end up with a better machine for your money, and likely better than a cheap 29" machine.