Archive for March, 2006

29ers reviewed in Singletrack Magazine

March 31, 2006

Issue 27 [of Singletrack World Magazine] features a test of four 29er bikes. This video podcast is from the day we went out to take the pretty pictures that you can now see in the mag.

Thanks for visiting

March 28, 2006

We are excited of the upcoming venture and what the next years will bring to the cycling industry!

29er Gearing

March 25, 2006

I was wondering how many riders (or manufacturers for that matter) set up their 29ers to have equal gear inches to a 26er. My first thought is to use a compact crank set-up with 20/30/40 rings. This would give you similar overall gearing to a 26er for super steep climbing, with the added bonus of greater ground clearance and a lighter drivetrain. Similar to putting monster mud tires on your 4X4 – you need a higher [numerical] axle ratio or more horsepower, or you will lose low-end torque at the wheel. This makes sense to me since I can’t push big gears up all the hills – I’ve always spun really well, though.


It lives! Kenda Nevegal 29×2.xx

March 23, 2006

Our reporter in the field, Brant Richards of On-One, today managed to get his greasy hands on a single rideable Kenda Nevegal 29×2.35″ sample.
His initial measurements produced : 51mm casing, 57mm outer knobs, 805g.
Casing is expected to “grow” a bit as it sits at pressure.

Another business insider, extreme endurance racer Mike Curiak, got the explanation from Kenda for their lastest two narrower-than-expected 29″ tires :
The Karma and Nevegal 29″ were, in terms of volume, based on other brand’s tires sizes that were offered as examples. While Kenda’s policy is to offer tires true-to-size, this time the factory followed the competition’s sizing. The Karma is now planned to be renamed a 2.0″, and the Nevegal to hit the market as a 2.1″.

Kenda is investing $35k for the required machine to produce true-to-size 29×2.35″ tires, which in the longer run should provide us with seriously big meats.

Several bike manufacturers, like On-One, have requested samples of the Nevegal, so this one extra offering just might be a spark that lights the mainstream 29″ fire.

So, unfortunately for many, the Nevegal doesn’t offer the hoped for volume. Time will tell whether it can challenge the skinny WTB Exiwolf 2.3 as the current 29″ FR king. My gut feeling : yes it can!
WTB to move now. They were the first to make a 29″ tire when no-one wanted it, will they also be the first to make a 29″ DH tire now so many are waiting for it? It will probably cost them a $35k machine too. This might just be the reason Ritchey backed out from there 29×2.4 promises.

Today someone wrote to me he’ll be riding 29″ as long as he can get tires for it. Well, it looks like it’s only getting better! I don’t think anyone owns all current offerings, plenty of choice!

Stepping on twenty-nine inch landmines

March 16, 2006

Cycling News:

One of the most heated debates in bike technology at the moment is between adherents of the relatively new “29-inch” wheel size for mountain bikes and users of regular wheel sizes. Over the next couple of weeks we’ll be taking a look at the pros and cons of the new format. To start with, Cyclingnews mountain bike editor Steve Medcroft looks at the passions stirred by a recent article on the topic.

After we published a short feature about Durango-based ultra-endurance mountain biker Dave Harris’ performance test between his 26-inch and 29-inch format bikes, Harris received a lot of feedback. “I got quite a few comments on my blog,” he says. “There were a hundred-ish emails in my in-box too (all but a couple are positive, thank goodness), and the (mountain biking) forums are going nuts over it.”

Cyclingnews received its fair share of feedback too. Ryan Atkinson, assistant brand manager for Gary Fisher, Lemond and Klein Bicycles, wrote that he felt Harris’ study lacked scientific credibility. He alluded to way Harris’ went about his comparison of the two formats with a point summed up pretty well by reader Jay Parkhill of Menlo Park, California. “…it sounds like this test was run between a full suspension bike and a soft tail. It is very nice that Mr. Harris tried to normalize gearing and tire choices, but the difference in frame designs seems like a huge uncontrolled variable.”

Keep reading…

Are 29ers for the shorter people among us?

March 14, 2006

I do know that there’s 15” frame bikes out there, but I keep hearing conflicting reports about “height restrictions” on 29ers. Some folks seem to be saying that shorter people would not enjoy or get as much out of the “29er experience” as they should, saying that basically if you’re under 5’9, you’re better off sticking to 26” wheels. These are, I have to say, folks who I do give serious props to when it comes to their knowledge. What are your thoughts on this?

— Gaz

Taipei Bike Show : TWO fat 29" tires!

March 11, 2006

This just in from China :

Actual samples were showing of the Kenda Nevegal 29×2.3 and “a” Panaracer 2.3

Sounds good, doesn’t it? It’s about time he WTB Exiwolf got some competition. Both Kenda and Panaracer 26×2.3″ tires seem to be very well appreciated, should be pretty amazing in 29″.

You heard it first on !

Redline 2007 : Monocog 29" 853

March 11, 2006

Yes, that’s right, not even have the first Monocog 29er bikes made it to shops, or Redline is looking at the future, sharing thoughts with us, and asking for feedback.

First let me tell you what Redline asked me to communicate. The Monocog 29er bikes have been held up an extra 1-2 weeks because of last-minute improvements to the frame design. Early samples had less than perfect looking gussets as some may have noticed, and this has since been addressed.
The new sample, Craig@Redline writes me, is looking much better, and “I’m pushing for the first batch to leave this factory by next weekend”.

Now for the exciting stuff… Redline is looking at bringing us a Monocog 29″ 853. Yes, that’s lightweight Reynolds 853 tubing! Most probably it will feature it’s own unique geometry, totally different from the Monocog29er, with fancy sliding dropouts and (optional?) derailer hanger. Redline appreciates our feedback on choice of brakes, do we want disc-only seatstays, or the option there to run V-brakes?
The Monocog 29″ 853 likely will come as both a complete singlespeed bike with disc brakes and as a frame+fork. Nothing is certain at this point, obviosuly, we’re talking 2007 plans here.

For a clean look with minimal cable stops, the 29″ 853 frame could come without front derailer cable stops, and thus be either singlespeed or 1×9.

So, your feedback is appreciated, do you want super-clean custom-steel-style disc-only seatstays on your Monocog 29″ 853, or the option (be it bolt-on or welded) to run V-brakes for low-tech and weight savings? Is a SS/1×9 a preferable frame design, or would you prefer just the sliding dropout and no option for gears?

Redline, before the first 29″ bike is sold, is working hard on supporting us even more in the future with higher-end products!

Remember, you heard it here first!

Prototype #3 of Intense Spider 29er

March 7, 2006

Prototype #3 of the Intense Spider 29er is pictured below…

Size: Medium
Color: Satin Black
Components: XTR
Wheels: Bontrager Race Lites with Jones XR 2.2’s
Fork: Reba Race @ 80mm
Rear Shock: Manitou Swinger 3way

More Stats: 23.75 effective TT, 18 CS, SA 74, static HA 73 @ 100mm fork setting. HA with 25% rear sag est @ 71.

Intense 29er

UK manufacturers to fork things up?

March 6, 2006

What Mountainbike magazine in the UK just published a multi-page 29″ piece in their latest (April) paper issue :

Both 26″ and a 29″ On-One Inbreds complete bikes were ridden extensively over weeks, to be able to rate the 29″er and learn about the pro’s and cons of larger wheels. The 26″ version already received honors in 2004, nine points for both performance and value. This time, the 29″er (complete singlespeed bike) gets 9 for performance, and perfect 10 for value. WMB : “Most fun you can have on a £500 bike”.
On the scales, the 29″ complete bike less pedals weight 10.9kg, only 250g/0.56lb heavier than the supplied otherwise identical Inbred 26″.
WMB appreciated the improved comfort and cornering from the 29″ wheels.

Also tested was a custom built Carver 96’er with Carbon Pace fork, receiving a 9/8 rating. Reviewers liked the bike’s handling, but comparing it to the fullbred On-One 29″er, they just wished it also had a 29″ rear wheel. The aluminum Carver was built with light parts and would still have been really light with a 29″ rear wheel.

Furthermore, a UK-based Ridgeback offering was reviewed, the middle in a line-up of three affordable 27-speed 29″ hardtails. The £550 Quest model got 7/8.

Now for the forks bit : What Mountainbike speaks of a 29″ carbon rigid fork to be in the On-One pipeline, and says to look out for a 29″ Pace suspension fork later this year. Oh, and U.S.E. now has a 29″ kit for their very special one-armed fork too it seems.

CAD renderings of the On-One carbon fork. In production the crown will be black.
It will have the same daring 468/47mm geometry of the praised steel Inbred29 fork, and promises to be a quick way to turn sluggish handling hardtails into agile XC racers.