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Old 09-09-2012, 12:28 AM   #1
MyBikeWorks
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Finally rode a 29er

Well it had to happen

This past week I was in Melbourne, Australia as part of the Specialized Bicycle Components University Core class which I was asked to do as part of my new position with Just Ride bicycle store.

3 days of product info and incredible info at that.

Each day the study was interspersed with a bicycle ride, Tuesday was a long road ride on a Roubaix with Ultegra UI2 electronic gearing, very nice and I was considering another road bike until we turned into a gawd awful headwind for the trip back you just don’t get the big head winds riding off road.

Wednesday was a day of learning the workings of the FSR suspension system and Specialized 29er geometry etc. I really sink my teeth into mtb stuff and having ridden/raced hardtails since 1990, I was keen to try an Epic 29er dually. Not only did I try an Epic 29er dually, but an S-Works version no less

They sure were spot on in the course when they mentioned how Specialized have a lower bottom bracket height and shorter chain stays on all their 29er’s which really feels incredible when riding. What I felt was a very similar position as previous bikes I had ridden. The handling didn’t take me long to get used too at all.

Now considering that this bike was new to me in EVERY way, as in it was a dual suspension, 29er, fitted with tyres I have never ridden, and the brakes were opposite to how I run them (I run R/H rear brake) this thing was a rocket ship Oh, we were riding trails I have never seen too.

Within a very short period of time I had gone from being quite tentative and unsure as to the handling to flying along with a huge grin factor going on I did lower the tyre pressures shortly in to the ride which made the tyres stick more when cornering, other than that I must say that Specialized 29er Epic was super impressive.

Now I just have to figure out if I want a racer style Epic or something more forgiving like the Carbon Camber or maybe the Carbon Stumpjumper



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Old 09-09-2012, 12:49 AM   #2
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Sounds like you had a great time!

29er's all the way for me! I will say you have more expensive tastes that I do, though...4K? Too much for me, but it's nice to dream...which is probably about as close as I'll ever get to owning one of those


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Old 09-09-2012, 03:00 AM   #3
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Crazy Aussies. I must have caught myself 100 times at the shop I worked at, when I was wheeling a bike out of storage by the back wheel, and tapped the lever to stop the front one from spinning. How do you ride a motorcycle?

Anyway, I was certain that 29ers would just be a fad, even though one of my favorite racers for team Specialized, Rebecca Rusch, probably earned most of her recent wins on one. Then I got one, and was instantly converted.

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Old 09-09-2012, 04:43 PM   #4
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In the race I participated in yesterday I was definitely the odd man out on my FS 26". There was actually 2 races, a 100 mile race that was for the National Ultra Endurance Series. Of the 100 or so riders they were all on 29ers and most FS. Their course was 2 laps of the 50 miles. About 10 of the guys actually lapped me. The 50 mile race had 250 riders and I only saw maybe 10-12 26" bikes. Like Hack I thought it would be a fad, but now I think not. I debated the whole race whether I'd have been better off on my 29 hard tail and honestly don't know. About half the race was better suited for the 26" and half for the 29" IMHO.

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Old 09-09-2012, 05:27 PM   #5
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For racing, there is no doubt that the 29er owns. When I lived in SoCal, my favorite rides included some very technical sections that would be more difficult with a 29er. But they made up a small part of the overall ride. I'm really looking forward to a single speed 29er next.

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Old 09-09-2012, 08:55 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Industry_Hack View Post
Crazy Aussies. I must have caught myself 100 times at the shop I worked at, when I was wheeling a bike out of storage by the back wheel, and tapped the lever to stop the front one from spinning. How do you ride a motorcycle?

Anyway, I was certain that 29ers would just be a fad, even though one of my favorite racers for team Specialized, Rebecca Rusch, probably earned most of her recent wins on one. Then I got one, and was instantly converted.
I ask myself this question a lot Hack, my brain just seems to distinguish between the two, moto vs mtb
29er's are no fad and speaking to the Specialized guys was interesting when I brought up the 27.5 wheelsize, they pretty much shot it down for now as the benefits are far less than the 29 when compared to the 26.
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Old 09-09-2012, 09:31 PM   #7
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Had a colleague with a pretty nice 29'er ride with us today with us on our roadies - she kicked our butt and we improved our course average by 1mph - she could out coast us on the downhills and since she is a MTB'r she kicked our butts on all the uphills too !

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Old 09-10-2012, 09:28 AM   #8
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Had a colleague with a pretty nice 29'er ride with us today with us on our roadies - she kicked our butt and we improved our course average by 1mph - she could out coast us on the downhills and since she is a MTB'r she kicked our butts on all the uphills too !
At least you guys know who to ride with to get faster now then
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Old 09-16-2012, 02:18 AM   #9
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Clown bikes are a fad. They are slow to turn on tight trails and accelerate slower than a 26" bike too. Flat open trails are another matter. Read the tests in the October issue of Mountain bike action magazine where they tested 5 bikes that cost $2000. 4 were 26" bikes and 1 was a specialized 29'er. The 29'er came in last and they said it was disappointing how slow and heavy the bike was. but everyone who has bought one will claim its the best thing in the world because they won't admit they were suckered by another gimmick the bike companies created to sell stuff. Like tubeless tires.

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Old 09-16-2012, 06:36 PM   #10
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Clown bikes are a fad. They are slow to turn on tight trails and accelerate slower than a 26" bike too. Flat open trails are another matter. Read the tests in the October issue of Mountain bike action magazine where they tested 5 bikes that cost $2000. 4 were 26" bikes and 1 was a specialized 29'er. The 29'er came in last and they said it was disappointing how slow and heavy the bike was. but everyone who has bought one will claim its the best thing in the world because they won't admit they were suckered by another gimmick the bike companies created to sell stuff. Like tubeless tires.
I suppose what really matters is the kind of riding you do. If you want to win 24 hour solo MTB races, or Leadville repeatedly, a 29er is the way to go. If speed is your thing, no 26" MTB can touch a 29er. That's as much physics as it is fact. If accelerating was the only thing that mattered, we'd all be riding 20" bikes. For the tightest, most technical trails, you wouldn't be able to keep with me on my 24" BMX. But every bike is a compromise, and changing wheel size or suspension setup may require a cyclist to develop some new bike-handling skills. The 29er has certainly proven itself though.

My complete 29er cost me 1/2 of what my 26" frame cost, and less than what I paid for my tandem's fork. In other words, it was hardly a substantial outlay, so I'm certainly not going to feel suckered, even if it was a rolling turd. But it performs much better than expected, and I'm willing to start doing a few upgrades, rather than throw money into my old school 26" ride.


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