So, I took my first ride on the my new 29er last night and stepped away with some first impressions. They are:
1. It's a monster and I felt like I was just cruising half the time, and slowpoking the the other half. Once I get used to it, I'm going to fly.
2. Trails I once rated in my head as intermediate suddenly became easy. Trails I had rated in my head easy have now become pedestrian.
3. The ride was so smooth I am now excited/scared about what the heck I'm going to be able to do on this thing in the future.
The whole experience on this bike was mindblowing to me. We started out and some first impressions for me was just how freaking big it felt. I had been riding a 16-inch frame 26 inch bike. My new one is an 18-inch 29er. Another significant change is how I ride. On my old Nishiki Pinnacle, you ride it more forward kind of in a racy position. On this bike, I'm much more upright. It's a lot, lot, lot more comfortable. But at first I felt like I was on some big Clydesdale tromping through the woods. It just felt "big" and I kept thinking I was taking up the whole trail with my bike. I also at first had a few problems picking my lines because I kept thinking, jeez the bike is so big the whole frigging trail is my line.
The first part of the ride was mostly a lot of climbing. It handled it with no problems. I was barely breathing hard in place a week ago would have been tearing me up on my old bike. I was riding with two buddies and I had to keep holding back because I felt like I was going to run right over the person leading us.
Finally, we got to a downhill portion. I took the lead on this decided I was going to open it up and see what it had. I shifted to a lower gear and it was history. I still felt like I was just cruising, but I never saw my buddies again until the end of the trail. I kept looking around, but never saw them.
At one point, I got a little cocky and saw a berm I usually jump. The problem is, I usually hit it going from the other direction, not the the direction we were going. I came up on it and realized too late that the other side of that berm was flat as a pancake. I hit it, stopped and fell right over and landed on some English Ivy. I wiggled around like a whale for a few seconds and then decided I would wait on my friends. A guy came by asked if I was okay, and I said, "Yeah, I'm just laying here with my cockiness." He laughed and said he had done that before. Got the bike up and rode the rest of the way back in.
I ended up standing at the end of the trail for about 5 minutes before my buddies showed up.
Wow. This new bike is a monster.
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Thread: First ride on the new 29er