29er Vs 26er – Differences Between These Mountain Bike Wheels

If you are new to mountain biking, you will realize they are a lot of different options available. One of the important decisions for a new biker is to choose which is better between 29er or 26er mountain bike. Each one has its own unique pros and cons.

The one you choose will need to consider what type of terrain you like to ride, what type of biking you are interested in, and what you’re looking to get out of your mountain bike. These will help you decide which type of bike wheel will best work for you.

In this post, we will go through the differences between the 29er vs 26er mountain bikes and you can get started into mountain biking with confidence. Let’s get started!

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The Differences Between The 29er And 26er Mountain Bikes

When choosing the right mountain bike, you will have to consider the bike frame. And also consider the length of the crank, saddle height, or size of the frame.

And therefore you will have to consider the mountain bike wheel size going for either a 29er or a 26er. Let’s look at the pros and cons of each.

The Pros Of A 29er

There are a number of pros to using the 29er. These are as follows.

  • Speed.
  • Negotiating Obstacles.
  • Riding Comfort.


Simply bigger wheels give you that extra distance with every turn you pedal. So a single complete wheel rotation on a 26″ bike will move you forward about 6.8 feet, while a single wheel rotation on a 29er will move you about 7.6 feet.

Negotiating Obstacles

Cause the bigger wheel radius helps clear logs and roots that bit easier.

Riding Comfort

The bigger frame and longer wheelbase let me open up and relax a little more. Plus, more efficient on longer rides.

Cons Of A 29er

There is also a number of cons to using the 29er. These are as follows.

  • Climbing.
  • Maneuverability.
  • Balance.


Cause of the bigger wheels it takes extra power to turn the bigger wheels. In very steep ascents you will notice the effort it will take. This will help to build up your leg strength.


The bigger wheel span can reduce your maneuverability, especially in really tight descents or trails. Simply your turning radius is wider and you might have problems weaving in and out of trees, rocks as nimbly as other bikers with the smaller wheels.

bicycle trails


Even for an experienced rider but riding a 29er down a steep descent can make you feel like you’re going to fly over the handlebars. On a 29er, your center of mass is going to be higher. Cause of the higher center of mass, there actually is more than likely you may go over the handlebars than on a 26er bike.

The Pros Of A 26er

There are a number of pros to using the 26er. These are as follows.

  • Maneuverability.
  • Climbing.
  • Accelerate.
  • Lighter.
  • Cheaper Bike.


The smaller wheel span can help your maneuverability. Especially weaving in and out of trees and rocks is a lot easier than someone with big wheels like the 29er.


Cause of the smaller wheels it takes less leg power to turn the wheels. It is better for the smaller wheel if you have weak leg power.


With the smaller wheels, it is easier to accelerate in and out of momentum sapping situations.


The smaller wheels and forks are not only smaller but have less weight.

Cheaper Bike

26ers will near almost be cheaper than the 29er options available in any style of Mountain Bike. This also makes replacing cheaper.

The Cons Of A 26er

There is also a number of cons to using the 26er. These are as follows.

  • Speed.
  • Added Suspension.
  • Limited Traction.
  • Bumpier Ride.


It’s pretty simple, bigger wheels give you extra distance with every turn of the pedal.

Added Suspension

Smaller wheels require added suspension to soak up terrain.

Bumpier Ride

The 26er is more lightweight than the 29er but this also means that you are going to feel more bumps and knocks than with larger tire sizes.

Limited Traction

The smaller wheels also mean you will have less traction. You can change or upgrade to a wider or plus tire.

Wrapping Up

Finally, the more you ride bikes, the easier it will be to tell the difference in the ride types and especially the wheel sizes. Keep in mind, it may take months and even years to appreciate the way a bike handles.

Talk to those who ride, and ask them if they ride the bikes they sell. This way, you’ll learn more about the mountain bikes you love so much.

And that’s it for now! I’d love it if this post on the differences between the 29er Vs 26er mountain bikes was helpful to you. Let me know if you have any questions and let me know if there is more to add.

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What Are The Differences Between the 29er Vs 26er Mountain Bikes?