Over the years I've had 2 gt peace 29er's, a cannondale 29er and recently a 2012 gt karakoram 29er.
So it's fair to say I've given them a fair go.
I can see a use for 29er's on non technical enduro style tracks, riding around a paddock or commuting as they do roll in a straight line nicely.
When riding on single track with medium technicality the bigger wheels seem to slow them down, giving the bike a slugish feel.
On sharp slow up hill turns the longer wheel base becomes an issue, giving the bike a slow wide arc that you really have to learn how to fight.
Again on slow up hill turns the whack head angle (29er's have a steeper head angle to stop the wheel base getting even longer) gives the bike a feeling of wanting to fall over when the momentum slows down.
After spending a good amount of time and patience on both I'm now more than ever in the 26 inch camp.
29ers have to make so many sacrafices with geometry to accomodate the larger wheels that the negetives out weigh the positives.
29er's are here to stay but will only ever make it as an enduro bike.
XC, DH, DJ, 4X and trail riders won't ever fully embrace them due to handling and strength issues.
26 inches is my wepon of choice.
That's a good, well rounded comment based on riding quite a few 29ers...it does make me feel better about staying in the 26 camp!
I commuted on a 29er for about 2 years (canal towpath) so never really got a full idea of what they are like offroad but I just think the power required to turn the bigger wheels made me feel quite tired at the end of each ride. Could juet be me but it's funny how I'm now back on a 26 bike singlespeeded and fully loaded up with rear panniers and it's far less tiring to ride!
1993 Kona Hei Hei, 2013 Mutiny Robbo X-Sekt, 2006 Rocky Mountain Blizzard, 2007 Mongoose Sabrosa 29er, 2016 Transition Scout, 1998 Mk 1 Standard Trailboss , 2013 Salsa Vaya, Player Special - 2015 Ted James custom roadie