29er vs 26er,FS vs Hardtail


Well-Known Member
What is the most successful XC race bike?

:) I was looking around for some reading. Does anyone know of a thread here or another forum that debate the size and ride of a race bike?

Last edited:


Strong like bull, smart like tractor
Team MTBNJ Halter's
at the race level it's personal preference. especially when you get into the expert category. some guys love 29er hardtails, some 26" FS.


Well-Known Member
Yeah I have the 29er, I love it. I don't know about the olympics, I didn't watch. I didn't know if someone knew of a thread I could read. I enjoy the ride of the hardtail, but would probably enjoy the ride of a FS, I was wondering if the FS 29er or 26er would help or hurt in a racing situation. I'm just curious and was looking for something to read. Thanks for any info.




Well-Known Member
you opened pandora's box

IMO and from my experience and i don't want anyone to hold any grudges againts me :D but i would rather race my 26" HT than my 29er. Given my 29er is rigid SS. I feel more nimble on my 26. It all boils down to preference. I prefer 26" wheels to climb and i feel it directs me in the direction i want to go better in technical situations. I prefer the 29" for pure enjoyment, downhills, and berms. The answer to alex's question is NO. hehe :p


EDIT: Now where the hell is my 650b darn it!!!
Last edited:


Fourth Party
Just by taking a quick look at the MTBNJ team, I would say the majority of its male riders are on 29er ht's. Is this true with the rest of the racing field, who knows.

If you want to race, ride the bike you feel comfortable on. In the real world your lungs, legs and skills will help you succeed, not what bike you ride.


Active Member

IMHO I don't think this question as phrased will get you the right answer because yes, it is about preferences, and no one here can say that this wheel size or HT or FS is best for YOU to race on.

You should already have figured out what works for you and what you're comfortable on. This would depend on the course, your style of riding, and money. You've probably ridden on some H2H courses, so you know what its like, and whether your current set up works, or you need more suspension, or smaller wheels. You should also have a budget.

A more tailored question would be something like "What is the best XC race 29er Hardtail" or I have $x,xxx to spend what is the best XC FS for me to race the H2H courses, or even "what is the most successful XC race bike in the world in HT and FS".

I don't think a forum can tell you that 29er HT > 26er FS for you to race on.

My personal preference is what I race, which is a 29er HT, the GF .:Superfly, and I dig it.


New Member
I think you should find who the most successful racers are, then see what they ride and why.

Steve Vai

Endurance Guy: Tolerates most of us.
+1 on the Fisher SuperFly. Carbon frame with pimpy Sram X0, Juicy Ultimates, and Bonty RXL29 tubeless wheelset? Screams RACE ME!!



I love my C-Dale F29 but the SuperFly would be my second choice. Did a test ride at Alliare on the Super and was very impressed. Best 29 frame out there.


Just buy what ever the best fast guys ride.

Oh, wait - they ride anything they have a contract with and that changes from year to year and they still win. It's not the bike - it's the rider.

Don't show up to an XC race with a DH bike and vice a versa and you'll be fine.


New Member
A cross between a ht and a f/s is what I'm on.
I have a Salsa DOS Niner that I run with a carbon fork. The frame itself is a soft tail, yielding 1" of travel and it's an alum, frame also.

So the soft tail yields just enough cush to make you think you're on a quality steel stead, yet has every bit the lightness and acceleration of an alum bike.

Here is a photo of my setup.
Top Bottom