Bike Building

2011 – Cyclocross or 29er?

3 Comments 08 December 2010

A good example of a clean 29er single speed build | Photo by Larry Woo

If you were buying bike in the last two years, almost everybody who knew anything about bikes would have offered you a cyclocross bicycle – to a point that it became a joke in the forums. Cyclocross bikes became the be all, end all solution for bike buyers – especially for commuters.

It did it for a reason as well: Lower rolling resistance, decent tire clearance and thanks to the new UCI (that’s like the FIFA of cycling) rules, cyclocross bikes will start coming with disc brakes. This will make them even better commuting machines and while we rode the 2011 Merida Cyclocross bikes, I really liked the disc brakes on them.

But, a few years ago and even last year, 29er mountain bikes were rare and expensive. Next year will be different, a lot of manufacturers are bringing starter 29er models and I think that they will bring an interesting option for bike buyers in 2011. Especially for commuters like me, I think 29ers are what hybrids should have been from the beginning.

Everyone I know, who has a 29er says they wouldn’t go back to a similar 26 inch mountain bike and that’s saying a lot. That’s why my next purchase will be a 29er. Or two.

What’s yours and why?

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- who has written 201 posts on Coming thru!.

Markus is a bike commuter gadget freak who is learning the ropes of the bike world, you can find him all around the web - but you can start with his twitter at @banton.

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  • Tzed250

    No new bikes for me!
    I already have a road bike (Felt Z25) and a 29er XC bike (Gary Fisher Superfly 100).
    I just built a cargo bike out of my ’92 Specialized Rockhopper (all steel, no suspension, 3×7 index shifting) using Xtracycle’s amazing Free Radical kit. MAde of steel, it attaches to the bottom bracket and rear dropouts to move the rear wheel back about 24 ” (60cm) and has aluminum loops to hang the included cargo bags. The kit comes with extra chain and cable to extend everything back. It can be used with 700c or 26″ bikes with disc or V-brake (an available brake adapter is necessary for it to be used with a 700c wheel and V-brake).
    I love how much stuff it can carry (up to 250 lbs. /113 kg.) and that it repurposes an existing bike.

  • How about a 29er with drops?

  • Salsa actually has one, called the Fargo ( What I’m worried is the ride geometry, since drops are made for one thing and mtb’s for another. Still, would be awesome to try out the Fargo one day and it should be a hell of a trek bike.


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Coming Thru (or Coming Through - as that URL was taken) is a daily updated bike magazine - a collection of writings and links that relate to biking in its every form. The idea started from when Maarten met Markus decided to finally start collecting the things we like about bikes and talk about our everyday adventures in dodging moving objects at high speeds.The site is run by a collage of cyclists, most notably by Canadian Johanna MacDonald, Belgian Maarten Patteeuw and Finnish Markus Sandelin.

It all started in the spring of 2010, after a record breaking snowy winter when Markus bought a house 25 kilometers from the office and decided to handle the commuting with a bicycle. It turned out the bike wasn’t up to standards for that kind of stress and the first weeks were more tragicomic than glorious. Thus the idea began to brew to actually document this journey.

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