WOW . . . Anyway 29ers are like any other bike. Each bike will have its own handling quirks based on different geometries. I do not find the steering sluggish on mine at all. In fact this is the best handling bike I have ever owned. In addition if you wanted to change the steering characteristics of your bike you could get a fork with a different offset. This will "quicken" or "slow" your steering depending on what you choose. Something not as easily accomplished on a 26er. I will say that I had to "relearn" some of my riding techniques but it is not inherently better or worse than a 26er, just different.
(Edit: moved list to bottom for readability)
Carrying on, like I said earlier there are so many 29ers with so many different geometries that they are impossible to sum up with blanket statements. Some have high BB's some are low. Some are HT, 2", 3", 4" softail, etc. etc. Here is a small list of pros and cons and are strictly my opinion (and copied from ncj01)
Rolling resistance (by some 10%)
Bearing resistance and wear (by some 10%)
Tire wear (by at least 10%)
Roll-over stability climbing and descending
Overall comfort over a ride
Grip and cornering balance
26" Pro's :
Weight (300-400g lighter on the complete hardtail bike, all else being equal)
Due to this weight advantage : faster acceleration, by around 2%
Wheelies are easier, the front lifts more easily.
Flickability in extremely tight corners (where walking would actually be faster)
Wheel stiffness, at least when using hubs of equal flange spacing
More available parts
Bottom line is as always it comes down to fit and preference. People who know me saw how I went through 5 bikes in 1 year before I found one I totally liked (Pacific
, Cake, Heckler, Motolite, Sultan) I am a better rider on my 29er not because the bike is better but because I am more comfortable on it, therefore I have more confidence and I am willing to try harder things.
Anyway I am running out of steam. I think if you want to race with a 29er the ones you should look at are the Salsa Dos Niner, Asylum, Titus RacerX, Lenz Leviathan, Niner Jet9, GF Supercaliber Etc. If you were looking for an all around bike I would add the Turner Sultan, Ellsworth Evolve, Ventana El Ciclon or one of the many Fishers (HiFi, Super Fly) Of course all of those bike but one are FS
BTW you can ride my Sultan any time you like.
Manitou Minute 29 TA 120mm travel: 48mm offset, 530mm a-c
Manitou Minute 29 QR 120mm travel: 41mm offset, 530mm a-c
Reba 80mm travel: 38mm offset, 489 mm a-c
Reba 100mm travel: 38mm offset, 509 mm a-c
Reba (Fisher G2): 51mm offset
Maverick DUC32 29er 115 mm travel: 47.3 mm offset, 517 mm a-c
Maverick SC32 29er 94mm travel: 39.7 mm offset, 494 mm a-c
Fox F29 80mm travel: 44 mm offset, 481 mm a-c
Fox F29 100mm travel: 44 mm offset, 501 mm a-c
Fox F29 (Fisher G2) = 51 mm offset
WB F135 135mm travel: 43 mm offset, 535 a-c
WB IMV 100mm travel: 44mm offset, 500mm a-c
WB IMV 80mm travel: 44mm offset, 480 mm a-c
Lefty max: 45mm offset
RST M29: 44 mm offset
Pace RC29 100mm travel: 40mm offset, 510 a-c
Marzocchi 29er: 43mm offset.