Hey folks, I wanted to get some feedback from those of you who have 29ers. I'm primarily a roadie (I mostly ride a Specialized Tarmac SL3 and a Specialized Transition for triathlons). I also have a Kona Dawg full suspension from 2003. It's heavier than a grand piano and for what I currently use it for, it's really no fun to ride. My mountain biking days are, for the most part, behind me, and I only use the Kona to go on "family rides" with the kids trailer in tow, on local MUP and fire road trails. The suspension is overkill and when towing the kids with that heavy bike it can be a royal ***** getting up hills. Now that I'm more into road riding, I'm used to a certain feel and responsiveness to a rigid carbon frame.
With that said, I am thinking of selling the Kona and just buying a hybrid bike for those easy recreational rides with the family. It would be something along the lines of a Specialezed Sirrus which is sort of a relaxed flat bar road bike that you can ride on gravel path. However, for a much lower cost, I have been noticing these Chinese carbon 29er frames, and they seem to be fairly well made. I'm tempted to just buy one of those with a set of 29" wheels, and swap all (or most) of the compatible parts from the Kona to lighten it up and make it more versatile as a recreation bike with slick tires. The Kona is fairly well equipped wiith Hayes hydraulic disc brakes and Deore LX drivetrain.
FWIW, I'm well enough accomplished with wrenching skills and building bikes from scratch, so that shouldn't be a factor.
I guess what I'm really looking for is feedback on how a 29er feels compared to a normal 26"... and are the frame geometries such that it would feel comfortable to ride casually for a few hours at a time in a non-aggressive setup. Also, from what anyone can tell, will 27 speed Shimano drivetrain components, and non-BB30 bottom brackets from 2003 still be compatible with current 29er frames?
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