Archive for June, 2005

More Rumors and Innuendo

June 30, 2005

Some more breaking news on new or rumored 29 inch wheeled bikes, and frames.

1. Ventana: Already in production of the El Capitan 4″ full suspension 29 inch wheeled frame, Ventana has announced that two new hardtail models are soon to be released. One will be a singlespeed specific EBB ( that’s eccentric bottom bracket, by the way), and the other, a geared hardtail model. $995.00 is the initial price revealed for each. Prices are subject to change- as always!

2. I spoke to a Trek rep the other day. He revealed to me that Fisher is coming out with a “budget” frame for 29 inch fans to build a bike around. No word on specifics….yet! Trek show is in a month and a half, at which time I will be there to see for myself.

3. Also from the same Trek rep…..rumor, and I stress RUMOR! Trek badged 29er??? Apparently, the rumor that a Trek 29 inch wheeled bike being made is circulating amongst the Trek insiders. Keep your fingers crossed!

4. And finally, a bit of sad news! Apparently the aforementioned Airbourne aluminum hardtail 29 inch wheeled frame project has had the plug pulled by Airbourne, who cited that it wasn’t fitting into their current production plans. This is really sad, as the frame was rumored to be an inexpensive option at sub $400.00. Oh well!

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The only problem with 29ers

June 27, 2005

Thoughts from off camber on the 29er:

Maybe they are a little boring? Seriously, like you don’t have to do anything. It’s like playing tennis with an oversized racket. Don’t get me wrong – I dig ’em, especially when conditions turn more “mountainbikeryish.” I’ve been cleaning climbs never before surmounted with the little-wheeled bike, and rough descents are like plowing downhill on a lazy boy. Note, this is with a fully rigid. But they are also a little less go-go-gadgety than your typical 26″ ride.

Gary Fisher Sugar 292 Review by Dirt Rag

June 27, 2005

Dirt Rag Magazine:

Twenty nine inch wheels? You’re talking to one of the converted. While Gary certainly did not “invent” the 29 inch mountain bike, he is probably the one man that has done the most to promote big wheel vision, by bringing a 29” hardtail and two full suspension models to the broad market. He’s even succeeded at getting 29ers approved for international professional mountain bike racing, but that’s another story.

With the Excaliber 29” hardtail coming in at $1050, and the full squishy Sugar 293 at $1870, the 292 is the top of Gary’s twenty nine inch line at $2750.

Read the whole review…

New Bontrager Tire Announcement

June 23, 2005

A new 29 inch tire is coming your way this fall. Bontrager has announced in conjunction with Gary Fisher Bikes, that a 1.8 inch version of the Bontrager XR tire is going through race testing this summer. The tire was produced by request of the Fisher/ Subaru Team. They desired a faster tire for racing in the 29 inch wheel format. Look for further updates on http://www.fisherbikes.com .

While this won’t wow any of you that are salivating for wider rubber, the race set will be well served by this fast rolling tire. Also, it should prove to be excellent for gravel, and fire road riding, or anywhere that the trail surface is hard, smooth, and less technical. By the way, the Fisher Bikes representative that posted this info on mtbr.com also hinted that fatter tires than their current offerings were on their way, as well.

Finally, an inside rep at Trek also hinted to me that a tubless 29 inch tire and wheel system will be offered by Bontrager for the ’06 season. If this proves to be true, it would mark the first time an “official” tubless system was available for 29 inch wheels. Keep tuned to this space for any further 29 inch wheeled news, gossip, and rumors.

Thanks to “Fisher Guy” for the news on the new tire offering. He is a poster on the 29 inch wheeled bikes forum on mtbr.com by night, and Fisher Bikes marketing dude by day!

Maverick Makes it Official

June 18, 2005

Finally, Maverick American has made an “official” announcement regarding the use of their DUC-32 and SC-32 forks for 29 inch wheeled use. Previously, several enterprising individuals had been converting these forks intended for 26 inch wheeled use to 29 inch wheel compatibility by installing spacers to reduce the available travel. This allowed the 29 inch sized rubber to stay clear of the under side of the fork in a fully compressed situation. Well, now Maverick has introduced “factory” spacer kits for their forks, making the forks compatible with big wheels with Maverick’s blessing. The as yet to be priced spacers reduce the travel from 150mm, to a 29er friendly 115+mm. Plenty of travel for a 29 inch wheeled bike. Of course, if you plan on running one of these fine forks, you will need the proprietary front hub, and disc brakes only. It’s an “upside down” fork design, don’t ya’ know?

All this leads to some speculation that Gary Fisher Bikes may be outfitted with these converted forks on at least some of their 29er offerings for the ’06 season. Cameron Chambers, an endurance athlete with the Fisher/ Subaru team has already race tested this fork on a 29er Sugar. With the confirmation from Gary Fisher himself that a new full suspension platform for 29ers is on the way for ’06, I can’t help but think that Maverick American forks will be gracing the front ends of these bikes. It won’t be long until we all find out, as the ’06 line is set to debut at Trek Show, in August. Until then…….

Vicious Cycles: The Motivator

June 16, 2005

Twenty-nine inch wheels roll over bumps with greater ease
and hold their speed better. A three-time World Mud Bog Champion, the
Motivator has the power and stability to ride through the muck and
leave you smiling. Take advantage of the low-rider and rear rack mount option for adventure touring. If you really want to feel the momentum, we also offer a single speed dropout option.

  • 3 time world mud bog champion proven geometry.
  • Hand-selected premium steel tube set.
  • Available with disc or linear pull brake mounts.
  • Proprietary cable routing keeps housing from kinking.
  • Available with expedition rack mounts for adventure touring.
  • All tubes sealed to keep out water, seat tube drain hole.
Vicious Cycles The Motivator
 
Vicious Cycles: The Motivator

via Vicious Cycles

Another Kona 29er Picture

June 14, 2005

At the risk of harping to much on the new Kona 29er, Singletrack World has a new picture up of the 29er size Unit frame.

Kona 29er

Kona 29er

June 12, 2005

Guitar Ted mentioned a few days ago that Kona is developing a twenty nine inch for ’06. Tracked down this website with a picture.

Kona 29er 2006

29er From a Desert Perspective

June 9, 2005

I have read a number of Tim’s reviews about the 29er, and I agree 100% with his assessment. This is truley one of the most incredible rides out there. I bought a 2004 Gary Fisher Sugar 293. What a beast!

The Bike Playgrounds in Arizona were designed with the 29 in mind. Case in point: our last ride out at Elephants Head south of Tucson. It’s a 9 mile out and back shaped like a U on an elevation chart. Dropping into the bottom of the U is a single track trail of basketball sized sharp loose rocks. The 3 hardtails that were riding with us all bounced out of their saddle and clips. A couple of the full suspension 26″ riders bounced out. My 293 romped down the trail like a four-wheeler romping through the dunes. What a ride!

I highly recommend a test ride. Check out Gary Fisher’s website to see when the demo ride is coming to a trail near you. That’s what sold me.

Gary Fisher X-Caliber Review

June 8, 2005

The 29er and Blue Collar budget meet somewhere around the Gary Fisher X-Caliber. I’ve been riding this bike for awhile now and finally posted my review of it over at Blue Collar.