Wednesday, March 9

Between two pillows...

Those aren't pillows.

There are only two things I need to know or get over at this point.

One is the view.

I've been looking out over a 29" wheel since early 2007.  Except for very short stints on a Santa Cruz Nomad, a Scott Genius, and a Moots YBB 27.5 (and one race on a Carver 420 with 27.5 wheels).  I think that's it.  Anyways, you get used to looking down at a wagon wheel for nine years, and anything else just looks tiny.  That big 29X2.4 tire out in front of you gives you a certain amount of confidence... like you can roll over anything.

Like that.  Exactly like that.

There are a couple steeper (but short) roll-ins at the Backyard Trails.  It was strange rolling down the rock faces while looking at the (slightly) smaller front wheel, but it didn't feel terribly different.  It's fair to say that all the confidence building moments I was getting from the good stuff messed with my head.  I sent some jumps with a little more exuberance than normal, and more than once, I landed in a pile of nastiness or just past the transition.   A nice reminder that the bike still has a rigid frok.

photo cred: Ben Ullman's GoPro trail cam... that was just randomly out there capturing images of celebrities
My only other concern at this point would be long climbs.  Of course, I'm curious how it's gonna work out on longer, mountain descents, but climbing is a big part of my game.  The wheels/tires are still heavier than what I ran last year (but not the previous years).  My pressure is lower and my contact patch has increased.   Not to mention, 29ers have just been accepted as the de facto climbing king.

But these are almost just as big.

As I mentioned before, I guess this is where STRAVA would be handy.  I don't have any known climb with such and such data to compare times and wheel sizes.  I'll have to go by feel.  My head says the 29" wheels will feel faster.  My heart says, "Who cares?"

Honestly, if I lose a tick on the climbs, I may just make these the go-to race setup anyways.  They are fun as a machete after eight beers, and most of the races I do are on the rugged side.  Other than the 6 Hours of Warrior Creek, I travel from one pile of rocks to the other all "season" long.  I try to do well at a few races a year, and the rest of the time, I'm just having fun riding with friends in the woods (with number plates on the front of our bikes).

And these things are fun.  Big fun.




Anonymous said...

aaaah. the suspense is killing me...wwdd? keep the updates coming. i am looking at doing this conversion on my chromag surface...just because i can't leave well enough alone. your ramblings here are nearly pushing me over the edge. more info the better.

Anonymous said...

I haven't gone 29nr nor 27r I'm still stuck on a smaller 26r for now... but, I do have a fat bike for winter riding though. I don't use it for anything but snowshoe trails.
How's it feel to have a biggy between thy legs though?
I've yet to feel a 29nr, one of these days. But, I do cyclocross on the mtb trails, that's kind of 29nr like but skinny like.

I find myself to be stuck between an oreo cookie really - white in the middle in some regards drifting towards the smaller dark side of 26 vs 29.

hIDesert said...

What about 29er+ on the front, regularish 29er in the rear? Or b+ in the rear, 29+ up front? My 29+/fat foray has been in a holding pattern due to an unforeseeable bedshit. Fat is fun. Fat is not fast. I look forward to sorting out some shit and being on 29+ with carbon 50mm rims and chupacabras. I really think that will make all the difference in the desert. Thoughts on a 29+ with a 38mm rim for 29 or 29+, and a poofier more pillowy tire profile?

dicky said...

Just don't know if I want that much rubber. We're talking almost a half pound more per tire.

I did try 29+ on the front with a 2.35 rear on wide'ish (but not true + size rims). It was okay... but slow.

Just wasn't for me.

Anonymous said...

I ran 29+ for a while and thought I was doing just fine. That is until I hopped on a standard 29er with light weight wheels/tires. Was pretty much taken aback at how much more nimble and quick it was. Have since gone back.

Steven said...

I give it two more weeks. :thumbsup:

sperho said...

There is certainly a balancing point between tire weight, contact patch, rolling resistance, traction, handling, shock absorption, riding style, bike geometry, etc, etc, etc to achieve the fastest speeds and/or the most fun out of any given combination. Glad you are doing some of the donkey work for us in the peanut gallery and putting what you find - qualitatively, perceptually, or otherwise - out there for us to consider.

Sir Chico Demonte III said...

Really? You used an animated JIF from Road House?

Anonymous said...

Really, you admit to recognizing a JIF from Roadhouse???

Richard BlackRose said...