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What is a 29er Mountain Bike? All You Need to Know!

Written by Gary Johnson / Fact checked by Henry Speciale

what is a 29er mountain bike

There are many different builds and types of bikes, and each has its own style and purpose. One notable bike, in particular, would be the mountain bike.

One of the most popular builds is the 29er Mountain Bike. Its wheels are 29 inches high in diameter and are heavier than the normal bike.

So, what is a 29er Mountain Bike? Here we’ll tackle one of the best off-road bikes and how well they perform.

The History

Mountain bikes were first made during the 1970s when the traditionally small bike was modified for off-road use. Since then, the bike has sported different heights.

Before, 26” and 28” bikes were more popular and numerous in the market since the 1880s. Since then, many bikers have used different sizes of huge rims which gave way to the 29er bike entering the scene in the late 1990s.

While there have been many claims and notable figures responsible for the 29-inch mountain bike’s origins, Gary Fisher and Mark Slate are two of the notable names in its history, both sporting different modifications and builds for the 29-inch MTB.

What is a 29er Mountain Bike?


The 29” mountain bike is, simply put, a mountain bike with 29-inch wheels. The MTB’s 29” diameter rims are sturdily built for off-road biking. Its height comes from its wheels, rather than having a 29-inch bike frame.

Its build gives the bike a factor to be more durable and much better at maintaining speed than your usual mountain bike.

It is, however, much more difficult to ride the 29er bike. It offers a challenge that bikers have grown fond of because of its increased traction, and control, brought by its wheels.

Compared to the popular 26er, its tires have much more contact. This allows the 29er bike a much easier pick for trail-biking and cross-country racing in different terrains as it sports stability.

The 29er meaning is from its bike size, 29, and is now a nickname for the up-and-coming bike that’s making waves in the cycling scene.

What is It Used for?


The 29er has various functions. Commonly used for sport, professional cycling tournaments often feature events like mens’ 29” mountain biking tournaments. Beyond sports, the 29er is also used for leisure and transportation. Many cyclists have been trying out and loving the 29er, especially for off-road biking.

Suspension Systems

When it comes to suspension systems, the 29er MTB sports similar frames to that of the normal MTB. There are two main types; the Dual or full suspension and the hardtail suspension.

Both offer different experiences that makes it an ideal 29er MTB frame depending on your needs and preferences.

  • If you want an all-around bike that can navigate through any terrains at different angles, full suspension offers exactly that. A 29er full suspension provides a fast, stable ride through different obstacles.
  • Hardtail suspension is much lighter compared ot a full suspension, which makes it faster for climbing and much easier to pedal. It is also great for beginner bikers.
  • The 29er can also feature rear and front suspensions, especially with a hybrid build. Which are classified as 29er road bikes. They have the same build as any mountain bike’s suspension and can absorb shock from obstacles just like your normal 29er.

The Pros and Cons

As appealing as it sounds to own a 29er, there’s a lot to consider before taking on the responsibility of getting one.

Having a bike size of 29 inches may have its certain pros and cons, here are a few of them:

  • Better traction and control because of its wheels.
  • Better at maintaining speed
  • Perfect for navigating through large obstacles
  • Parts are harder to find at an affordable price.
  • Heavier and difficult to pick up speed.
  • Only suited for taller bikers who are at least 5”9

Who Uses the 29er?

Now comes an important question: A 29-inch bikefor what height? Although it’s an ideal mountain bike, it’s important to figure out what size of person– or height– is ideal for the 29er.

Ideally, 29ers are made for people over 5”9 inches and above. Due to the size, the 29ers are huge and can only be reached by people of that specific height. Any lower and they may experience difficulty in riding the bike.

Frequently Asked Questions


Which is better, 27.5 or 29er?

Both mountain bikes have various good points. Considering different aspects, here are a few advantages of each bike.

BIKE 27.5” 29”
REQUIREMENT Can accommodate shorter bikers Accommodates taller bikers
PURPOSE Climbing and Downhill cycling Maneuvering obstacles and different terrain
SPEED Good at building up speed Good at maintaining speed
WEIGHT Lighter Heavier

27.5” MTBs fit shorter bikers and are easy to build acceleration. 29ers are heavier and create better traction, suitable for riding over rough terrain.

How do I know if my mountain bike is 29er?

29er bikes are large in size. Its wheels must be measured as 29” in diameter. Rather than measuring the entire frame, measure its wheels to determine the bike’s build.

Are 29ers easier to ride?

With their heavy weight and large wheels, 29er bikes are difficult to ride. It also has a slower build-up of speed. This is, however, a part of its charm that Mountain bikers love.

Can I put 27.5 wheels on a 29er?

Yes, you can. Bike frames are made to fit different wheels. Putting 27.5 wheels on a 29er is a plausible adjustment.

How tall do I have to be to ride a 29er?

To ride a 29er properly, you must be at least 5’9″. Those who are shorter than that may struggle to ride the bike and retain their balance.


To answer the question: What is a 29er Mountain Bike? It is an amazing bike that offers a challenge and an experience. Mountain biking is already a challenge itself, but with a 29er’s added weight and height, it gives control and traction to any enthusiast.

The 29er has already secured its place in the bike scene and is becoming even more popular at the moment. Whether it’s because of its competitive sports build, its functionality, or its challenging drive– the 29-inch mountain bike is a sure head-turner.

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