No, I didn’t mean to write 49-er in the title! This post isn’t about football… but another sport. Mountain biking! In the world of mountain biking, most of us have been on 26 inch wheels forever. They are great. They get you up the mountain and down the mountain. They are 20121118-094528.jpgfine. But now there’s something called a 29-er.20121118-094455.jpg Ok, the 29-er has been out for a few years. I’m a tad behind the times when it comes to equipment. Shaped skies are new to me. Anyway the 29 has to do with the wheel size. It’s 3 inches bigger than the 26 inch wheels I’ve been riding on since 8th grade. So last week, my Little Friend Lynn and I went on a ride, only I was demoing a 29-er. I was hoping it would give me an advantage and I would at least be able to keep up with her. 20121118-094536.jpgI borrowed the bike from Mike at High Sierra Cycling in south Reno. AKA The Bike Shop. Isn’t it funny how all neighborhood bike shops are called The Bike Shop??!! So I shoved the Giant (that’s the brand but also is a good adjective for this guy) into the back of my Tahoe and headed up to Galena to ride! One of the main benefits of the 29-ER is the impact angle. 26 inch wheels have a greater one meaning when you hit a rock your bike bucks more than a 29 inch wheel. Mike had me roll over a 6 inch curb on the 29-ER and she rolled right up it. On a normal bike think of how jarring that typically is. The 29inch wheels also have more surface area on the ground so you have more traction, especially on sand, snow and mud. Finally, and here’s my favorite part, a 29-ER goes farther with one pedal stroke than a 26 inch bike. If I’m walking next to LeBron James and we take 15 steps in unison, he’s going to be farther down the road than me. I’m the 26 inch bike in this example, he’s the 29-ER. On the mountain, this means the bike actually does roll up some hills all by itself. On my normal bike, I might have to pedal 2 or 3 times to get up a small hill… the 29-ER makes it to the top without a single pedal stroke. IT RULES! I also had more balance on tight switchbacks. And on the downhill, I felt more stable. All in all the 29-ER is a great new addition to the biking world and one you, too, should demo. Especially with Christmas coming up, this bike just might make it to the top of your wish list. You can check them out at www.highsierracycling.com








About Wendy D

I was born in San Francisco and ended up marrying a rancher in Reno, Nevada. I have a big city job anchoring the 5 o’clock news but come home to the country where my husband’s family has ranched for 5 generations.

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