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Thread: Observations..

  1. #1
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    Observations..

    As I sit here typing, listening to Bob Dylan singing "Man of Constant Sorrow", I got to thinking about my last few rides on the One Niner.

    I ride every day, not always long epic rides, but they usually give my body a good workout..

    Most of the trails I ride are rough, rocky and rooted, some are very narrow which allow no room for error. I usually ride the One Niner as a SS, and sometimes Rohloff-equipped.

    I'm more of a finesse / trials type of rider nowdays, not so much of a high-speed rider any more, so my setup of the bike reflects my style and preference of riding, although I can go quick when the conditions permit it..

    Anyways, some 29'er observations...

    Tires: The difference between running your tire pressures at 25-30 psi and 40-45 psi is amazing. The comfort level alone is very noticeable, but the increased traction from running lower pressures is also a huge factor.

    Just lately, I have been running a wire bead Exi on the rear with Stans as an experiment and it has been going very nicely with 25-30 psi in it.

    However, i'm not looking forward to the mess if I puncture it out on the trail..so I carry a spare tube.

    The 29'er wheels continue to amaze me with their capacity to roll over roots and rocks so well, yet I have started to notice the AC wheels are a bit 'flexy' when pushed harder. I will have to keep an eye on them. Maybe with the Exi's laced onto some tougher rims like the one that holds the Rohloff would be the best...Alex TDK's or Rhyno's.

    I had a nice over the bars recently, I found a root that was too big for the slooow speed I was trying to roll it. This is only my third OTB that I have had since going to the big wheels.

    This latest one was a beauty. Very slow motion down a hill, trials type riding situation, steps, rocks and roots everywhere. I hit this BIG root, the bike stopped dead. I wasn't even thinking at the time, just in my "Zen" mode....so I was completely relaxed and sort of stood "outside" myself and watched me going over the bars in slooow motion...lol..

    The funniest thing was the bike.

    I ended up in the dirt, flat on my chest and elbows. The bike slowly flipped completely over, and landed oh so neatly right beside me on its seat and handlebars. I turned my head to the left, and there she was, wheels up in the air, balanced on her seat and bars....as if to say to me..."hey, look at what I can do".... heheheh.

    She got away without a scratch, but I skinned my elbows and knees.

    Knees: Most young guys don't even think about knees...except maybe when looking at a girls legs..
    However, when you get older, knees and other body parts suddenly become important. Luckily for us, knees don't get the impact damage that some runners suffer from, but our knees do get damaged from trying to push higher gears when sitting down. The solution is to spin in a lower gear, [Rohloff] or stand up and grunt, [SS].

    Kidneys: Your internal organs can take a pounding from rough tracks on a hard-tail bike if you are sitting and pedalling. I remember when I used to ride Motocross on motorbikes I always wore a Kidney Belt. Sometimes after a hard ride I noticed pains in the back, so now days I use a Thudbuster on the HT. This takes the 'sting' out of the bumps and lets me stay out for longer, which is a "good thing"...so I get all the advantages of the HT but none of the disadvantages.

    I recently replaced my old Gen 2 with a Gen 3 edition of the LT Thuddy, and I am pleased with it.

    Saddles: I am a believer in the Brooks leather saddles, and have been for years. Recently, I have been riding a 'slotted' Brooks which is designed to relieve any pressure to the tender areas and have found that they work very well. I am currently testing a new Selle AnAtomica leather saddle by the same manufacturer in the USA which has a softer waterproofed leather and also incorporates the cut-out in the top of the saddle.

    I will do a report once I have put more miles on it.

    I guess that's it for now...time to ride. A nice cool cloudy day here, perfect for the trails...


    R.
    It is inevitable ...

  2. #2
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    Rainman, I just received and mounted a new Selle AnAtomica Titanico. I have no time on it yet, but am looking forward to it. I definitely like the longer rails vs. a Brooks.

  3. #3
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    Helibee...

    Thats good to hear...

    Please post up a report on your impressions after a ride or two, and I will also.

    I'm currently in discussion with the manufacturer in Wisconsin about this new saddle.

    I'll report my findings asap.


    R.
    It is inevitable ...

  4. #4
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    Thanks for your thoughts Rainman. I'm still sitting on the fence regarding 29ers, and you touch on one of my concerns, that being the "slow, picking your way through a mess of rocks and roots" style of riding.

    Do you find that the advantages of bigger wheels extends to this style of riding? My thinking is that when you are picking your way through technical sections, the larger wheels would be more difficult to keep rolling, despite their steeper angle of attack. For example, technical climbs, where you are negotiating step-ups, perhaps small log-piles and the like.

    These are the sections that tend to give me the most grief on my 26er hardtail, so I can't help but think that big wheels would only make things more challenging. Or do you simply have to adjust your style of riding, and come into these sections a little more aggressively to take advantage of the big wheels?

    TIA

  5. #5
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    Generally, the bigger wheels make everything much easier. I am clearing stuff on my 29'er that would stop me every time on the 26'er.

    My ride today simply confirmed it again, as I slowly made my way through a mass of rocks and roots that a 26" wheel would drop right into and stop. The 29'er wheel just keeps on rolling right along.

    *If* you go super-slow on the 29'er, it *may* hang up as well, but generally it just rolls over most things easily. Remember, momentum is your friend, and this applies especially to 29'ers. In order for the big wheels to roll over stuff that would stop a smaller wheel, you need to have the 29'er rolling. That momentum will pull you over rocks and roots with ease.

    There was one section today, down hill, off-cambered, with a 3 foot drop-in to leaf-covered narrow trail between trees and roots with two very tight turns and a second drop before a 7 foot drop into a rocky creek bed [which I chickened on] that the 29'er handled easily. It's steep and tight, no room for mistakes kind of riding. Certainly gets your pulse-rate up...

    On technical sections I try to attack as much as possible, although some parts you have no choice because it is so tight and you have no run-up, like in a rough rocky and rooty switch-backed uphill climb between trees. Sometimes I make it, sometimes I don't, but if I am determined and "on" that day then I can usually get through.

    Of course, 29'ers will not make you a superman, nor will they enable you to conquer everything you come up against. However, imo....the bigger wheels' advantages FAR outweigh their few disadvantages for most riders...including me..




    R.
    It is inevitable ...

  6. #6
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    Thanks again Rainman, that's the sort of info I was looking for. I am a bit bummed about your superman comment though

  7. #7
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    ... and if we just ...

    Quote Originally Posted by stymie
    Thanks again Rainman, that's the sort of info I was looking for. I am a bit bummed about your superman comment though

    Lol..


    R.
    It is inevitable ...

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