Those aren't pillows.
One is the view.
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 celebritiesMy 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.