29er = Too much confidence
Sometimes I think my 29er causes as many wrecks as it prevents. But I think I'm ahead right now.
Granted, it's full rigid. I decided I have no business being on a FS bike. On the rigid, I can only go so fast without skittering off the trail or without rattling my eyeballs out of my skull during an aggressive rock garden assault. This is a GOOD thing. The speeds are such that life-threatening injuries are less likely in the event of a total bail.
BUT, the 29er has been sooooo forgiving of my infrequent lapses in judgment that I find myself going just a bit faster anyway. I've been nose-wheely-ing into corners, riding the edges of the trail where you can improvise your line, drifting, dropping, and really working the trail more than I have in the past. It's a different approach that I've never considered before. And I don't feel like I'm doing any extra work - I've just having extra fun!
Well, this past weekend during the Muskingum Mayhem ride I was hurtling down this rutted, muddy farmroad doubletrack (the greater portion of the riders had already passed this way so it was shredded). I knew I was going wayyy too fast as the front and rear tires continuously swapped left and right as they dropped into and then escaped various ruts, but the bike has established confidence over the past several months, and that all was good - ride on. No brakes. Stay loose. Big wheels are stable, etc.... I even thought that if perhaps I went a bit faster I might float a little better across those ruts and not feel so much influence from each one. At the very moment of that thought the front wheel dropped left and the rear tire dropped right. Then you know that wave of mud that comes off your front tire when you try to correct and it just ain't happening.
I didn't fall! The bike just turned left - like a bat, I might add. I went about 5 ft. off into some tall grass and deeper mud which slowed me down in a comfortable manner. I hauled my bike out, got back on track and continued with a grin.
No lesson learned.
As soon as it dries out I may need some body armor.
Great read, thanks for making me smile.
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In the last couple of weeks with my new FS 29er (coming form HT 26) I've been terrified at how fast this thing goes down and is taking some time to re-program myself to this. The good think is that the from brakes are amazing (I almost went over bars at walking speed by locking the front wheel in a emergency stop).
Since I built my Yelli I've also found myself pointing it towards the harder lines and pushing it harder than I did on my other bikes. Now that things are drying out I actually scared myself on this morning's ride God help me
I gained a bit of confidence rolling over a 5" tree trunk, then rolling off a couple of smallish ledges.... then promptly turned around and lost it, rolling off a 1.5' ledge. Totally had a "sacrifice the body, don't hurt the bike" moment! I'm very much learning the dimensions and body position needed with my new lovely
2011 Salsa El Mariachi "Corzo"
Begin at the beginning and go on till you come to the end: then stop.
I've been riding 29'ers all the time for a couple of years now and think it is just different; not better or worse necessarily. I rode a 26'er yesterday for a couple of hours during a demo. The main thing I noticed besides not being able to roll over quite as large obstacles is that an XL is a better fit whereas a less stretched out L 29er works better for my purposes.
Originally Posted by Fleas
So your front wheel got caked with mud cream cheese? Definitely catches my attention when I see mud rolling like taffy around the RaRa 2.4 front tire and the inside of the fork I prefer not riding in those conditions but occasionally at a rain or shine event there's no way out of it.
I wear a lightweight core protector under my jersey sometimes Makes me look stronger BUT, I ride like a serious idiot thanks to the extra confidence
Originally Posted by Fleas
I always ride like an idiot due to being a poor bike handler. 29ers haven't made me any more dangerous.
That's the other thing - I never ride in mud like that (not for a lonnnng time), so I had very little experience to go on. The bike still said "Go ahead - forget the brakes".
Originally Posted by edubfromktown
But I didn't feel too bad about shredding the course. The worst conditions were on those doubletracks. And I can tell you that the last vehicle down there before the first bike was either a tractor or a 4x4 - not exactly a "fragile ecosystem".