Le 29er at Fight Trail

Well, there were 6 of us riding, 5 on 29er’s, one a dually, two carbon hardtails, and two aluminum hardtails. Good, but different times. First off, I forget most of what I remembered of the trail, so I was riding by sight. Still a hoot, though. Secondly, I had to quasi-relearn a few techniques, but that was fine. This was also my first real MTB ride this year, as far as tech stuff goes. That being said, I did walk a couple descents, and up a couple ups. However, the more I rode it, the more confident I felt. Stuff that I puckered, I was like, “hey, why did I worry about that?” as it scooted down no problem. Was as nimble as my old 26" bike? Not very far off. Did it feel bigger? Yes. I felt like I had to move around less, but felt I should have moved more. Body English is still important, but can be a little harder with more rubber trying to scrape the seat of your shorts. Now, next time will be a lot easier, and I feel like I could clean it all again now, but this is one spot where the 29er isn’t leaps and bounds ahead. Sort of… Still kicked up and down things, and gobbled the roots, but didn’t blow my mind as much as it has been. That doesn’t mean it was bad, by any means though. I had an absolute blast! If you only ride this stuff, a 26" bike is still up to task, for sure. For me, the 29er is still the one-bike-for-everything kind of ride. Keeps up fine at Fight Trail, even fun as heck still, and will slay it on the more tradition XC stuff every other day of the week. Part of me wonders how much is me getting used to suspension again as well. Front end dives more than a rigid, even when set up properly. Awesome rig still, though.

So, for big hit and real messy freeride type stuff, I don’t see 29ers dominating the market, just yet. Now, 27.5"? Sure. It’s like having a 26" bike with 2.4" tires, but less volume. Wait… Is that even a good thing?!? But, it’s new, and getting a bit more mainstream. I’m sure they can try cram it down people’s throats.

You’ll get used to it Aaron. It takes a few rides in truly technical stuff to appreciate the small differences between the 26er and 29er. After my first 29er I was very skeptical of the Shinobi, but after I had some respectable saddle time, it’s showing how effective the larger wheels are.

Oh yeah. I still like it better. Just going to see it across the whole spectrum and say how it is and why I still love it. :slight_smile: