Archive for April, 2007

my monkey

April 26, 2007

here it be… my monkey.

Got Juice ?

April 26, 2007

heres my juice my the mary bars

LA Times on 29ers

April 25, 2007

The LA Times recently put out an article called the “The wheel, reinvented” which is their short take on big wheels. While the article is neat from the standpoint of mainstream media attention, it’s obviously more of a fluff piece that didn’t have much time put into it.

First off, while Gary Fisher can be attributed to pushing the big wheels into the spotlight and getting dealers on board, the statement “Gary Fisher came out with a radical new mountain bike with extra-large wheels” is not extremely accurate. Mountain bikes with 700cc wheels wasn’t anything brand new back in 2001 and, as we’ve mentioned before here, Diamondback released one way back in the early 90s.

From there, they mentioned four different bikes… three 29ers and the Trek 69er. For each 29er they had a long list of likes and zero dislikes. That alone is a little weird… every bike has some drawbacks. And then on the Trek 69er, part of their dislikes was “riders need to carry two different-sized spare tubes, tires and spokes.” Who carries extra tires on anything but the longest rides? And most riders would know they can use 26 inch tubes in 29 inch tires, so no real complaint there.

Anyways, I’m glad to see that 29ers are getting some good media coverage, I just wish it wasn’t done in such an obvious half-ass way.

First Impression: ZTR ARCH 29er Hope Pro II Disc Wheelset

April 25, 2007

Well that was a mouthful of a title. A Tubeless 29er wheelset you say? As this is completely new to me, it was all a bit overwhelming to dive directly into the whole “Stan’sâ€? setup with the rim strip, the “goo,â€? and the worry in the back of my mind of what could happen if I lost the bead on the front tire blazing down some sketchy horse trail.

Once the wheels were fully equipped with tires and the Stan’s setup, I noticed that within a week the front tire had lost a significant amount of air. It appeared that the Stan’s had not quite sealed up one certain spot, and as I pumped the tire back up, sealant came spewing out from that specific area of the bead. However, after further inspection the Stan’s was doing exactly what it should throughout the rest of the tire bead. We tried it again and the tires have held air very well for two weeks now.

The ZTR Arch 29er rims, as tested, spin around on Hope Pro II disc hubs. These hubs are simply beautiful. Machined aluminum, and anodized in a color of your choice. Well, you get a choice of the six colors that they offer. As you can see in the pictures, the hubs that are being tested are silver and unless you want me to get out my scales, micrometers, dial calipers, and get really technical about the hubs; all I can really say is that I have been impressed. The Hope hubs are high quality, strong, yet light, and you can’t go wrong with sealed cartridge bearings. The rear hub engages really well, and I can tell that my power input is transferred through the hub and wheel to the contact patch quite efficiently, and they roll very smoothly. You also get that cool clicking noise associated with the internals of high end hubs. Does it make you faster? No, but perhaps it makes you feel faster. Some of us need that kind of positive riding esteem boost. Longevity of the hubs is of course, to be determined, but at this time, I wouldn’t begin to question it.

The wheels as a complete unit feel stable, all the spokes are nice and tight, and everything is nice and true. Though, as with all brand new wheels, these will need some adjustment after a break in period. As a tubeless newbie, I can tell you that I was quite impressed with the added traction that I noticed while riding, as well as the strength of these wheels. I can’t foresee folding the front wheel over into a “tacoâ€? on a tight switchback anytime soon. I can assure you that these wheels will be put through that kind abuse this summer. With 24 hour, and XXC races to come in the following months, you can certainly expect to see some updates! ZTR Arch 29er wheelset ZTR Arch 29er wheelset

Read all the posts in this review…

The Beast

April 25, 2007

Another beautiful day on the Florida Greenway (Santos)

Cannondale Updates F-29: Offers A Single Speed In '08

April 23, 2007

We’re hearing that Cannondale has heard the criticisms of the F-29 and has updated the frame to answer the concerns of many riders. (Us included!) It seems that the geometry has been tweaked a bit in the area of the top tube effective length to actually match up with it’s 26 inch Caffiene hardtails. It seems the top tube measurements were a bit short of spec in the ’07 models of the F-29.

Also, Cannondale has seen fit to massage the seat stays to clear up to 2.5″ tires. This is a much needed improvement over the minimal clearance at the seat stay brace on the ’07 F-29 models.

Finally, we are hearing that the 1 FG single speed will be done up in 29″er wheels for ’08. We’re guessing it’s still going to sport a Lefty, like the other Caffeines, and not a Head Shok, as the 26″er 1 FG bikes had. This will be in addition to the revised frame for gears on the current F-29. Probably an eccentric bottom bracket type chain tensioner, as other Cannondale single speeds have employed in the past.

Rumor has it that the 1 FG, the current F-29, an upscale spec’ed F-29, and possibly one other model will be introduced for the ’08 season. How about a Rush 29″er? Or a Taurine carbon hardtail 29″er?

More information as we get it!

Specialized Fast Trak Pro 29"er Tire Impressions

April 23, 2007

Editors Note: This is a first impression written up by a test rider named Rob Walters. Rob is an accomplished off roader, a veteran finisher of the Chequamegon Fat Tire event, and a new 29″er fan. Rob will be contributing his insights from time to time on products and bikes here on Twenty Nine Inches.

Just recently I decided to buy a pair of Specialized Fast Trak Pro tires. I was seeking a fast rolling tire that would still give me plenty of traction when I needed it. I have always liked Specialized tires. I rode the Fast Traks on a friends 26in. mountain bike last summer and was surprised at how fast they rolled. They label this tire as a dual compound. You can definitely feel the difference in the knobs. The center is hard and the sides are soft. These are 2.00 width and in my mind they are an accurate measurement. They are noticeably wider than my old Specialized Rockstars 1.90. They also seemed rather light in weight.

Mounting the tires went as hoped. Easy, like it should be. Most of the week I rolled around my yard & gravel driveway. I noticed immediately that they rolled much faster than my Bontrager XR’s. The Fast Traks were a little narrower than the XR’s too. The weather has not been all that great lately so getting a real off road ride in has been impossible. Finally, I was able to make it to Camp Ingwanis for a real test. I am also getting my first off road ride in on my new Salsa Mamasita. So, I was really hoping to have a great time.

When I arrived at camp the temps were still below freezing so that kept the mud frozen. The ride started out great. I was running about 30lbs. pressure front & rear. I like low pressure but it’s a real balancing act with me being 220lbs. I did roll over some pretty nasty roots & smacked right into a rock with a sharp edge, hit the rim quite a few times, but no pinched flats. Thankfully, as I forgot my pump at home. The trail starts out on a gravel logging road. After about 1/4 mile the trail turns steep, twisty and more technical than I prefer at the beginning of a ride. The tires gripped well and provided good shock absorbsion. I am running rigid up front.

I was pretty amazed how well the tires were gripping the decomposing leaves that were covering the frozen mud. After about 30 min. the sun started to melt the trail, a bit, and things started getting really greasy. Sure enough, the tires packed up with mud. I was relieved to see that they didn’t pack too much. I could almost always see the shape of the knobs under the mud. I was even more surprised that I was still getting good (and sometimes great) traction. Even on some pretty steep climbs, I could feel the rear tire slip but then I shifted my weight back and it locked up again. The pal I was riding with had a little more aggressive tread and his rig was almost impossible to ride. We stopped three times to clean off his tires as it was clogging up the chainstay bridge so bad you couldn’t roll the tire.

So far I am very pleased with the hard packed rolling performance of this tire. I am pleasantly surprised at the mud performance though. One thing to keep in mind is that the mud was never really more than 1-2 inches deep. The majority of the mud was around 1/2 inch deep, but really greasy. We didn’t damage the trail either.

As soon as I get some more miles in on the gravel, & hopefully dry single-track, I will let you know if my first impressions have changed.

Cannondale F29

April 23, 2007

Here is my Cannondale F29. Its all stock components so far and its a blast to ride. So far have hit the trails in upstate NY and it handles snow and mud with ease.

Cannondale F29

April 22, 2007

My F29 build is a little over 24 lbs on my scale as you see it. I started with the frame and built from there. Nothing too exotic, some parts were off of another bike that had a cracked frame. The rest of the parts choices were based on comfort and expected durability, the bike will be used in many of the 100 mile races and multi-hour events this year.

There are three of us in the area with F29 custom builds.

Build spec:
F29 size L
Lefty Carbon SL
SRAM XO shifters, rear der
XTR front der
Marta Brakes
No Tubes Arch rims
WTB Nanoraptor wire bead, run tubeless
C’dale front hub, Hope Pro II rear
Shimano XT crank with Octalink BB (same crank on my other two endurance bikes, in case I need to swap them during a race)
ATAC SE pedals
Thomson post
WTB Pure V saddle
FSA XC190 bar
GrabOn foam grips
Ritchey WCS Ergo bar ends

Big Wheeled Ballyhoo is just around the corner!

April 19, 2007

The 2007 Big Wheeled Ballyoo, a celebration of 29 inch proportions, is happening in just two months!

So far we’ve got eight companies bringing demo bikes and around $2500 in prizes to raffle off. And the event is free! Can it get any better than that?

As you may know, we did a contest for the look of the event and ended up calling it early due to me not planning correctly (again… I’m sorry!). But I’m pretty happy with the design we settled on. It was entered by K. Henry, the design director for Oiseau Group. If you know anybody that needs design work… I highly recommend these guys!

Here’s the logo… if you want a hi-res version, right click on this link and Save As (1,890KB).

Big Wheeled Ballyhoo

And here’s the poster… if you want a hi-res version, right click on this link and Save As (9,260KB).

Big Wheeled Ballyhoo

If you’re super hip and cool you’ll print out copies, give them to your friends and hang them up in your local shop. Or maybe even post a link on your own blog/website.

If you have any questions or problems, drop an email to