What wheel size do you prefer, and why?
I have an XC bike and a DH bike, both with 26" wheels. I don't see myself changing any time soon, for financial reasons if nothing else, but I also think 26" make sense for me. One, they say that the point of a bigger wheel is just to roll over stuff more easily and smoothly, and I suspect that a bigger wheel would make the technical stuff feel less technical - and while I'm not great at them, the technical parts are my favorite ones. Two, I'm short, and short people on small bikes with huge wheels look awkward. Before a 29" wheel was a glimmer in its parents' eyes, people talked a lot about toe overlap with small frame bikes. Seems like 29ers would have that in spades. But I haven't heard about toe overlap on any bike in quite a while.
I switched from an XS frame (bought largely to reduce stress on my wrists) to a S frame, and the XS frame had an unfortunate tendency to be basically impossible to tune so that all gear combinations were available with a triple for more than one ride. I feel like something similar would be an issue with putting huge wheels on a small frame, where there just isn't enough space for everything. Are there a lot of short people riding small frame 29ers without feeling like it's a compromise? Do they have enough room from crotch to top tube? I remember seeing a short friend on an early model 29er, and she looked like she was up on a horse - it seemed ridiculously tall for her. Maybe I just wasn't used to seeing them yet.
Are there cases where you'd choose one over the other? It seems like larger wheels are still not in favor for downhill riding.