Our first real ride yesterday at Elizabeths Furnace. Not really the first place I would have wanted to take her on a maiden voyage, but such is life.
For some reason I haven't figured out yet. This thing just feels good. I don't feel as hunched over. I feel more like part of the bike instead of just sitting on top riding it. It rolls over obstacles alot easier than a 26. On small obstacles I only need to unload the weight off of the front tire and she'll ride right over. Its easier to control at low speeds. I think I'll learn to trackstand a little bit quicker on this. I'd heard one drawback was tight turns. At my current skill level there are no drawbacks, just the oppisite as I still slow down a bit on tight switchbacks and she easier to contral at low speeds.
I've heard that it takes some people a few weeks to get used to the differences, but after yesterday I think I've "bonded" with it. Just for the heck of it I got back on the 26 today. Already it feels odd and alien to me. "Look at them cute itty bitty baby wheels". Ok. That was uncalled for. Let the hate mail commence.
If you want to upgrade and are XL in stature, I'd say go for the 29. I've heard that the benefits are the same for average and small persons, but as I'm not average, I can't comment.