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Why 29 Inch Wheels Are Perfect for Mountain EBikes

Why 29 Inch Wheels Are Perfect for Electric Mountain Bikes

Over the years, there have been several revolutions in mountain ebike wheel size (get it?), culminating in the 29-inch diameter standard (29er, sometimes called “700c”) used by many mountain electric bicycle today. Over the years, there have been several revolutions in mountain e bike wheel sizes (get it?), culminating in the 29-inch diameter standard used on many mountain bikes today (29er, sometimes referred to as “700c”).
In the early days of mountain biking, 26-inch wheels were the standard, as early electric mountain bikes were essentially modified cruiser ebikes with off-road tires and flat handlebars. 27.5-inch wheels have also been in use for the past decade, and are now the second most popular size compared to the front-mounted 29-inch wheels.

Mountain EBikes The 29-inch wheels offer some nice advantages over smaller sizes, such as the ability to go over obstacles more easily, better traction, a stable ride feel, and good carrying power. All of these factors add up to better riding mountain bikes and electric mountain bikes.
In this article, we’ll explore these details that give the 29er its outstanding riding feel. Electric mountain bikes are designed around a 29-inch wheel size. Let’s take a look at why we made this design choice:
Rollover Capability
The larger the wheel diameter, the smaller the angle at which the wheel encounters an obstacle, making it easier to roll over it without getting stuck or jolted. Rocks, roots, and other trail features that can cause smaller wheels to snag or lose power can be smoother with 29-inch wheels.
Increased traction
The larger grounding area of 29-inch wheels provides better traction, especially on loose or uneven surfaces. This is beneficial when climbing or cornering because the tires have more surface area in contact with the ground.
Another factor that contributes to a larger grounded area is using wider tires and running lower air pressure. Wider tires have more air volume, and when they run at lower pressures, they deform and absorb rough terrain instead of bouncing on it when the air pressure is too high. If you want to use wider tires, just make sure your bike is designed to fit it. For example, there are 29+ tires that range in width from 3 inches, but they don’t fit all mountain bikes.
Tubeless tire systems allow you to run lower air pressures without worrying about flattening the inner tube because there is no inner tube. The sealant in the tire also helps seal small holes from glass, thorns, tacks, etc. Converting your e-bike to a tubeless tire system could be a great upgrade.

Mountain EBikesThe added tire volume on a 29″ wheel provides a more comfortable ride by absorbing vibration and shock on more trails. Tires have more air volume, and more air volume means a more dampened suspension.
Larger wheels contribute to a more stable ride. Larger wheel diameters help maintain balance and control, especially at higher speeds or on technical descents. Momentum at higher cornering speeds makes the bike feel like it’s paddling smoothly into corners while traveling smoothly. This can help new riders tackle challenging terrain with a higher level of confidence.
Improved Momentum
29-inch wheels tend to carry momentum well due to their larger circumference. Once they are allowed to roll, they can maintain speed more efficiently, making them suitable for traveling longer distances and maintaining speed over flat or rolling terrain.
When 27.5-inch wheels make sense
While 29-inch wheels are great, it’s important to consider when 27.5-inch wheels make sense.
Agility: A smaller wheel size (e.g., 27.5 inches) provides greater agility and maneuverability, which is preferable for certain types of trails and riding styles (e.g., technical and tight singletrack).
Acceleration: Smaller wheels allow for faster acceleration due to their lower rotational mass. This is advantageous in situations where frequent speed changes are required. For example, city and commuter bikes typically use a 27.5-inch wheel size, so they can accelerate a little faster, just like at a stoplight.
Frame geometry: Larger wheels affect frame geometry, which may affect factors such as standover height and handling characteristics. Manufacturers have adapted to this, but personal preference still plays a role. 27.5 inches may be helpful for very short riders, as bike frame geometry has a hard time accommodating both very large 29-inch wheels and very short riders.
What about 26-inch wheels?
These days, it’s hard to find a new mountain bike with 26-inch wheels. There are some mountain bikes for smaller riders, but for the most part the bike industry offers mountain bikes with 29-inch or 27.5-inch wheels.
The one major exception to the 26-inch wheels and tires are fat-tire bikes, especially fat-tire e-bikes. 26 inches is still the primary diameter used for this type of bike, and with fat tires that are 4 inches or 5 inches wide, the vast majority of bikes use 26-inch wheels and tires. 26-inch diameter “fat” wheels, rims, tires, and tubes.

Mountain EBikesThe Unique Benefits of 29-Inch Wheels for Electric Mountain Bikes
The advantages of 29-inch wheels go beyond handling and stability; they offer some unique benefits for electric mountain bikes:
Provide better balance and comfort
The larger size of 29-inch wheels results in a smoother ride with less bumps and chatter. This provides a more comfortable ride and reduces the impact on the body for electric mountain bikes.
Increased riding distance and speed
The larger wheel size reduces rolling resistance and increases the riding distance and speed of electric mountain bikes. This means a longer range of adventure and faster arrival at your destination.
Improved overall performance and adaptability
The benefits of 29-inch wheels allow electric mountain bikes to adapt to more types of riding environments, including rugged mountains, wooded trails and city streets. They offer riders greater freedom and choice.
Increased self-confidence and sense of adventure
The stability and control of 29-inch wheels give riders more confidence to face challenges and inspire a sense of adventure. Whether you’re climbing steep hills or sprinting down them, electric mountain bikes offer an exhilarating sense of adventure.
Offers better customizability and accessory options
The popularity of 29-inch wheels has led to a more diverse accessory market, where riders can choose from a variety of parts based on their needs and preferences. This opens up more possibilities for personalized adjustments and custom builds.

As you can see, there’s a good reason why mountain bikes and e-mountain bikes choose 29-inch wheel sizes. They make mountain bike riding better by being able to roll over obstacles well and improve overall traction and stability while providing a more comfortable riding experience.

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