I'm going to be blunt here and put my opinion out there. I don't like odd new trends. And the influx of 29 inch wheel mountain bikes is just that, an odd trend. I notice with interest many of the blogs I follow (particularly) in the US that 29ers are on the rise. In fact it was quoted recently in What Mountain Bike that 29 inch tyres are now outstripping 26 inch tyre sales. This is quite a staggering statement when you think about it. Baring in mind that the majority of mountain bikes are still 26 inches and cover a greater range of bikes in most manufacturers range.
But why the sudden influx of sales? Is this a passing thing? It would seem not, as 2012 would seem to be the real push with the 29er range with most bike manufacturers having one or more models that you can buy. Wheels, tyres and spares are becoming more varied and accessible. It looks like 29ers are at the front of serious bikers minds when they are considering their next purchase.
There is nothing about them, that would even tempt me to buy one. Not yet anyway. For now they just look ridiculous, ungainly and ugly and I can't see any need for them in my twisty trails. Manufacturers are still trying to get over the whole problems of geometry too, so its not even a very sorted concept if you ask me. In some cases suspension is less to cope with the altered angles a bigger wheel has on the frame.