Archive for June, 2006

Raleigh XXIX Ridin'

June 29, 2006

I’ve been riding the Raliegh XIXX for a few weeks now and I gotta say… I’m in love. I’ve taken it out on several short jaunts around town along with a couple 15-20 mile rides that consisted of both road and singletrack time.

I’ve never had a bike fit me so well. Usually after longer rides on a rigid frame my back will start aching, but no such thing on the XXIX. While I still like the Redline Monocog… for an extra few hundred dollars this is a great buy.

The higher end steel adds a lot more comfort and it’s pretty cool doing the rigid SS thing with disc breaks.

These things are gonna sell out fast, so put your order in asap. This is a great buy.

While me and a buddy were out riding the other day we came across an old beatup Volkswagon Thing. Pretty sweet!

Raleigh XXIX


June 28, 2006

Raleigh XXIX Update and News!

June 27, 2006

Just recieved word that Raleigh XXIX bikes are going to start showing up at warehouses next month to be distributed to dealers on a first ordered-first delivered schedule. It’s interesting to note that the XXIX frames are being produced by only two gentleman, one of which owns the company that the frames are made by. Raleigh says that due to the popularity of the XXIX, availability will be limited. If you have an order in, be patient! They are on the way!

Speaking of “on the way”, Raleigh is also working on a geared only, 80mm front suspended 29″er hardtail to be here by the end of the year. The price point mentioned was $1200.00 No further details at this pont, but stay tuned. We will get you more info as it becomes available!

Fisher Caliber

June 25, 2006

This pic just surfaced. Looks really good to me!

From the looks of it, equipped with Avid mechanical disc brakes, making it a model below the $2299.99 SuperCaliber already listed on the Fisher website.

Rumored MSRP for the Caliber : $1700.
A lightweight race FS for the going price of similar frames-only? Fingers crossed!
Get your deposit down in time, nice Fisher 29″ers tend to be out of stock most of the year…


Fisher Caliber

June 25, 2006


June 22, 2006

Cobia Race

June 22, 2006

Unexpected 29? differences : #2, grip and traction

June 22, 2006

“Rolling over obstacles” is such an obvious advantage for larger wheels, even the most fanatic 26″ hold-outs agree on it. But more is going on at the interface between dirt and rubber.

First let’s briefly correct a misunderstanding. Many think that 29″ers naturally have a LARGER contact patch. Actually, give or take some real-life room for error, 2 tires of the same pressure but different diameter will have the same contact surface under a given load. In short : weight and pressure. A 200lb rider+bike on two 25psi tires will result in two ~4inĀ² contact patches.
The kick is here : the larger wheel gets a longer and thinner contact patch. This means the load of the rider+bike is pressing down more focussed on the center tread.


Larger wheel traits from the longer and thinner contact patch :
– Cornering stability (steering feedback damper?)
– Grip
– Traction

Cornering stability
In practice, you’ll find that larger wheels draw smoother lines through corners. In comprison, smaller wheels are wandering all through the corner, the rider constantly (over-)correcting to stay “on line”. With a larger (especially front) wheel, you pick a line, commit, hold on, and exit the corner cleanly. All coupled with a higher entry-, apex- and exit speeds. You’re simply faster, if you dare explore the large wheel limits.

The longer contact patch also makes steering feel much sluggish. Compare this to twisting small and large knifes in cold butter. I feel this effect helps the front end of the bike track more stabily. Any trail debris that will deflect a front wheel, will have a smaller effect on larger wheels, even when keeping the roll-over ability out of the equasion.

The 29″ wheels can reach higher centrifuginal peak forces, with smaller dips from corrections, thus a higher average cornering speed. See the wandering 26″ front wheel making it’s way through the corner.
Sorry for the crappy images here, Paint saves .jpg’s very pourly. Better images VERY welcome, I’ll update!

It is my belief that having a long and thin contact patch improves pure grip. Compare to ice skates or ski’s. Short wide ones carve nicely, long skinny ones (XC ski’s) won’t carve enough to make it around the Indianapolis Brickyard. But the long ones offer sufficient grip to actually skate with them over snow.
As contact patches are still quite short, and our weight low, turning the wheel of a rolling mountainbike doesn’t ask as much effort as carving with XC ski’s. The effort is actually really minute, no fatigue occurs because of it, many report less fatique with larger wheels. 26″ holdouts fear the 29″ handlebar will be so hard to turn that it hurts cornering speeds. You decide for yourself.

Just one small example which could explain the numerous reports from first 29″ rides where the test subject found him(her)self cleaning that one nasty unrideable steep hill.
The longer contact patch is better able at keeping contact with the firm surface to create required friction with to not have the rear wheel spinning. A stone, twig or pine-cone will less likely cause loss of contact with the surface on a hill, causing the forced dismount we’ve all encountered.

Another crappy pic. It should have shown more clearly how the smaller wheel loses contact with the trail when rolling over the round trail debris.

Just to round off the story : in practice 29″ riders tend to run slightly lower pressures on their 29″ bikes that with otherwise identical 26″ setups, which only increases all the above explained performance traits of larger wheels. Their bikes require even more muscle to turn the handlebar, but apparently it’s worth it to them.


June 22, 2006


June 22, 2006