Long Travel And Component Rumors

Lenz Lunchbox

Who Said It Can’t Be Done? While long travel 29″ers have been said to be not feasable or just downright goofy, some folks aren’t listening and are making bikes that fly in the face of conventional wisdom. To wit: Niner’s WFO 9 and the Lenz Sport “Lunchbox” long travel bike with 29 inch wheels. (pictured above) The story on that bike is that it is available as a regular model from Lenz now. The Lunchbox, named after a favorite set of trails called the “Lunch Loop”, was put into production shortly before Interbike. The first small run was eagerly snatched up, but as the chip commercial says, “We can make more”. So you really don’t have to know anyone special, go underground, or use a secret handshake. Just contact Lenz Sport to order your very own long travel 29″er frame.

More Rumblings From The Coming Storm: As long as we’re on the subject of long travel/ big hit 29″ers, I have heard more evidence of their impending arrival on a mountain near you. Seems that parts are being developed at an accelerated rate to make the genre’ happen. Rims, tires, forks, and of course the frames to mount them to are now being tested. I can’t say who, what, or where, but trust me: It’s coming! This is interesting from the standpoint of what the “B” wheels were supposed to help “solve”. Namely, the supposed problem of not being able to easily make a 29″er long travel bike work out. Well, from what I’m hearing, it can’t be too much of a problem, or these companies wouldn’t be hard at work trying to bring this stuff to market already. The proponents of the “B” wheels better hurry up and get some tires and rims done up double quick for AM/FR/DH or 29″ers will make that “B” size a moot point very shortly.

Shimano XT 29″er Wheels: Yep! If you missed that during Interbike coverage, Shimano is indeed going to bring a 29″er version of it’s XT wheel set to market in ’08. It’s supposed to be a grown up version of it’s 26″er wheels (scroll down for info at the link). If that is true then expect a lower spoke count, XC type rim with a center lock rotor attachment and tubeless compatibility. Stories on the prototype shown at Interbike indicated a late summer release, but my sources are saying no. Look for the XT 29″er wheels to be debuting at Sea Otter in April of ’08 when Shimano has big release scheduled for new components.

…….And A Fork?: Shimano is also going to be introducing it’s own carbon fiber rigid front forks for 26″ers and 29″ers under it’s PRO brand component range in ’08 as well. I took a close look at the currently Europe only 26″er “XC” model which bears a striking resemblance to the White Brothers/Fetish/Origin 8 forks, which we know are all the same manufacture. The fork crown in particular is a dead ringer for those 29″er forks mentioned. Hmm………..looks like that Asian manufacturer hit a home run with that catalog fork!


No Responses to “Long Travel And Component Rumors”

  1. Desert9r Says:

    Long-travel, FS 29er OVER KILL? I do more on my rigid 29er than most due on their FS 26ers!

  2. AC Says:

    Hehehe so true!

    “I do more on my rigid 29er than most due on their FS 26ers!”

  3. Dirt McGirt Says:

    Long travel is for little girls….

  4. mark Says:

    might be over kill, but the guys that usually ride 29ers are big, like me 6 ft 4in
    we still need some cushion, but i would say 4 inches is plenty, just saw the prototype intense 5.5 29er, looks pretty sweet.

  5. Dirt McGirt Says:

    I’m 6′ 2″ and 250 lbZ and I don’t effin WANT or NEED big squish outta my bi-cycle. I’m good with an HT, spank you velly much!

  6. Desert9r Says:

    Thank You for saying that Dirt! Personally I would like to see someone bottom outhe White Bros. Fluid(?) 130mm, muchless wear it out.

    I know a few other 29er riders, they race, and sear by 80mm, I know penty of downhillers and NONE use over 7″ bikes, even in the crazy ass terrain of Tahoe, Northstar, kirkwood, what does anyone need(or want) with a long travel 29er??

  7. Guitar Ted Says:

    Desert/Dirt: Hey, what about having a ball riding over stuff at speeds that would make you “go all Superman” into a spectacular yard sale on your hardtail? What about being able to clean the deep and abrupt wash that has you dismounting and walking on your bike? What about being able to climb stair steps that would stop a hardtail in it’s tracks?

    Okay, so maybe you two don’t want or need to ride like that. (Heck, I couldn’t find much worthy trail for one o these in Iowa, that’s for sure!) However, there are horses for courses, and some folks get perma-grin riding stuff like the Lunchbox. So let ’em if they want to. It’s okay if you and your buddies don’t need it, but don’t get caught up thinking somebody else doesn’t. 😉

  8. Dirt McGirt Says:

    Nobody NEEEEDS one. Many people want one for the same reason old bald guys drive sportscars. Compensation for some other lacking area, if you’re picking up what I’m throwin down.

  9. Dirt McGirt Says:

    Gt, if you pick the right lines and know how to handle your DAMN BIKE you won’t need a fully. Rear suspension is a crutch for the WEAK!

  10. Guitar Ted Says:

    Well Dirt, if we’re goin’ down that road, nobody needs a mountain bike either. Using that logic is kind of rediculous, dontcha think?

    Whatever…….we get that you don’t like it. That’s okay, but judging that no one else does or should is not wise. That’s my opinion.

  11. jncarpenter Says:

    Unless we’re talking a 120+ travel; 20mm TA fork from a maker other than White Brothers….this isn’t really serious news, sorry.

  12. bloody tongue Says:

    “Unless we’re talking a 120+ travel; 20mm TA fork from a maker other than White Brothers….this isn’t really serious news, sorry.”

    I would tend to agree with that statement.

    Besides that… I don’t recall anyone saying it “can’t be done”. The real question is whether or not it “should be done”. If your 6’5″+ I say go for it. But for anyone shorter than that it seems ludicrous. This was always the thing that bugged me about being a part of the 29er crowd; the “Us vs. them” attitude that is so pervasive. It’s a wheel diameter for crying out loud! You may as well be arguing about color… “my red bike is faster than your green bike!”

    When I read the description of the WFO 9 I was seriously scratching my head as to why anyone would want to buy this bike.

    onepoint five head tube?

    83mm shell?

    offset drivetrain?

    150mm rear hub spacing?

    These are advancements? Good luck trying to get parts for this bike in a few years!

    It doesn’t really matter to me anymore. After riding the “B” bikes in Vegas and another since, I have decided to sell off all my 26 and 29 bikes and am retiring from twentynineinches.com.
    I have a new FS 650b bike on order from a well respected maker and will be investing in a good supply of tires from J&B, and I am not looking back.

    And with risk of showing my age, I will leave you with some words from the immortal Bob Dylan:

    “goodbye is too good a word babe
    so I’ll just say fare the well
    I ain’t a sayin’ you treated me unkind
    you coulda done better but, I don’t mind
    you just kinda wasted my precious time
    Don’t think twice, it’s all right.”

    Fare the well, (or maybe so-long suckers???)

    – Bloody Tongue

  13. bloody tongue Says:

    DANG! I wish I could edit my last (and final) post….

    I forgot this:

    GT you should heed your own advice.

    First you knock anything 650b before ever trying it, with comments like this, (and much worse):

    “The proponents of the “Bâ€? wheels better hurry up and get some tires and rims done up double quick for AM/FR/DH or 29″ers will make that “Bâ€? size a moot point very shortly.”

    And then you say:

    “So let ‘em if they want to. It’s okay if you and your buddies don’t need it, but don’t get caught up thinking somebody else doesn’t.”


    “Well Dirt, if we’re goin’ down that road, nobody needs a mountain bike either. Using that logic is kind of rediculous, dontcha think?

    Whatever…….we get that you don’t like it. That’s okay, but judging that no one else does or should is not wise. That’s my opinion.”

    ….frocking hypocrite!

  14. Guitar Ted Says:

    bloody tongue: Well, well, well……there are a few holes in your accusations.

    1st: I gave a considered opinion on 650B and I have ridden them. (two different bikes at the Outdoor demo equipped with 650B wheels front and rear) Still am not convinced on their proported claims of advantage over 26 or 29 inch wheels. My opinion, okay?

    2nd: I haven’t ever, and will not ever say you or anyone else doesn’t need 650B wheels. this is basically what Dirt McGirt was saying in referance to long travel 29″ers/full suspension.

    You need to read things more carefully before typing out your obvious disdain for my opinions.

    So, to recap: I don’t think the claims of the main proponent of the 650 movement make much sense to me. I also think that if one of his claims: that being that the 650B wheel is ideal for long travel full suspension- isn’t backed up with equipment that can be ridden in an AM/FR/DH setting, the 29″er long travel bikes will make the 650B claim a moot point.

    Now if you would like to discuss those two points, I’m ready to have a reasoned and considered discussion with you. However: if you refuse to deal with what I am writing and focus on a what you think is a bitter and venomous attitude that I have against 650B wheels, then I will have to assume you have a problem unrelated to my writing. What that is you are welcome to articulate by means of e-mail, which is accessable in the right hand column on the front page. Thanks!

  15. Nordic Nut Says:

    I was going to chime in on the “saturated 29er market” post a week or so ago, but was too busy with work and riding.
    The AM/FR/DH (and to a degree “trailbike”) categories have HUGE potential for growth, especially as more options for forks, tires, etc. become available. Why? Because in general riders interested in these types of bikes are more interested in FUN than in losing 5 grams of rotating weight. I”m personally not convinced the weight difference is a big deal, but I don’t see it being a big holdup in these categories. Fun is what convinced me to buy a 29er, it was a lot of fun to ride. When executed properly, the traction and angle of attack advantages of a bigger wheel really kick in the more aggressive/steep the riding is. One of my main riding partners is pretty sold on getting 29er FS bike for his next bike. For bikes to just go ride hard and fast, a FS 29er makes a lot of sense.
    Yes, I can ride more on my hardtail SS 29er than a lot of people can ride on their suspended bikes, but if I had suspension I could ride even bigger trails with the same skillset, and would allow me to learn a different skillset. For most mortals, a different bike with different capabilities can teach new riding skills. Not everyone can pull off freeriding moves on a merlin cross bike. I’m already in the market for a 29er “trailbike” and if I lived out west, with bigger terrain, I might be thinking about more travel.
    Ok, I’m up past my bedtime and this is turning into incoherent rambling. 🙂

  16. Nordic Nut Says:

    To clarify, the riding partner I mentioned rides a Jamis XLT and breaks the frame rather regularly.

  17. Desert9r Says:

    Nordic Nut-

    I have often wondered about a 29″ trials bike myself, more than that, though I don’t ride DH, I wanna see a 29f/24r DH bike! or a reverse 69er (26f/29r) would be kool.

  18. Vandal Says:

    YES! Bring on the long-travel 29ers! The more squish, the merrier!
    To argue that riders only need suspension to compensate for sub-standard riding abilities is like saying that automobile drivers only need suspension to make up for poor driving skills. Sure, go ahead and buy a rigid car. Have a good time convincing yourself that you’re somehow benefitting from the experience of feeling like you’ve just gone ten rounds with the champ at the end of a five hour drive.
    The archives of history are full of examples of people that refuse to accept change for some irrational philosophical reasons, only to become obsolete when the open-minded among us realized that just because “that’s the way we’ve always done it”, it’s not necessarily the right way to do it.
    The truth is, if you ride a hardtail, or fully rigid, you’re compensating for the lack of bike suspension by standing up more often over bumps and using your arms and legs to absorb big hits. Even if you ride a fully squishy bike, you still stand up over the rough stuff. Look at downhilling as an example. My VPFree has 8.5 inches of rear suspension and 8 inches in the fork. Does that mean I can remain seated on every run? No way! It means that I can corner harder and ride faster while working just as hard.
    To eschew the concept of suspension entirely, you would need to get rid of your pneumatic tires, lock your elbows straight and keep your ass glued to your saddle 100% of the time. The instant your absorb a bump by bending your elbows and hovering above your seat, you become a massive hypocrite.
    Let’s carry the argument of “Nobody really Neeeeeds rear suspension” a little further by saying that nobody really neeeeeds to bend their knees to absorb a bump. It’s true, you don’t need to, but there are only so many bumps you can ride over before you damage something.
    Let’s face the facts that big wheels are not a substitute for suspension. I love my big wheels, but on my 29er hardtail, a tree root is still a tree root. Rear suspension will be just as good for 29″ wheels as it is for 26″ wheels.
    Let me conclude by saying that the trails we ride and the equipment we use evolve together. As we look for more challenging terrain to explore on two wheels, the equipment will be adapted to suit that terrain. Similarly, as we expeiment more with the existing boundaries of bike design, we will discover new ways to use it and new limits to test. If these processes cease, the sport will stagnate. Think back to that first cheap “mountain bike” we all had. True, you didn’t really need a high-quality bike to ride on the trails, but that cheap K-mart bike sure didn’t last too long. After upgrading from shiny steel rims to milled aluminum rims, suddenly we could brake more effectively and securely. When we discovered cogs and chainrings with shifting ramps, we didn’t have to deal with as many broken chains. When we bought front suspension, we didn’t skid the front wheel all over the place. Now, I ask you, why stop there? Rear suspension lets us ride longer, on consecutive days. Rear suspension lets us climb that nasty rock and root-infested trail while reducing the number of times the tire spins on that exposed root, damaging it, or sprays that loose dirt, rutting up the trail. Rear suspension puts big smiles on faces.

  19. Desert9r Says:

    Motor Mouth Oh I mean Vandal,

    Do you think anyone read your novel length post?

    all I can say regaurding long travel 29ers and your post, the only people that Need long travel 29ers are those with Dick Syndrome (Mine____ is bigger than yours)

    All I ask is for you to stop the ‘Roid Rage, Thank You.

  20. Dirt McGirt Says:

    That post was too long. MY american attention span won’t allow me to read it…. must go play video gamessssss……

  21. Desert9r Says:

    Hi 5 Dirt ( hands you the controller)

  22. Dewey Says:

    Vandal’s point makes perfect sense to me. It’s hard to to reason with kid’s or those who act like kids (brats?). Their I.Q. might not be bigger than their wheel size.

  23. Bouncing Into The Future With Big Wheels » Twenty Nine Inches Says:

    […] already touched on the longer travel 29″ers and naysayers aside, this is another category that will see more developement in the next year. […]

  24. Travis Says:

    Sounds likes loads O fun out here in AZ. With the balance of 29r, and longer travel the world becomes a much smaller place.

  25. Slim Says:

    To answer this question:

    When I read the description of the WFO 9 I was seriously scratching my head as to why anyone would want to buy this bike.

    onepoint five head tube?

    83mm shell?

    offset drivetrain?

    150mm rear hub spacing?

    I would want it. I was dreaming these exact specs the other night, fearing that it would be many years (if at all) before this came true.

    I’ll tell you why:

    I want a bike to pack my camping gear and hit the trail. With that in mind:

    1.5 head tube: allows for a stronger headtube and fork steerer. When you have the extra weight on the bike you are both less manuevreable andslam into things harder. Also why not?

    150mm rear spacing: a 29 wheel has longer spokes, so all else being equal, it’s spoke angles will be smaller and thus will result in weaker wheel. Not good for anyone, but especially with the added weight of gear.

    Strength is important both for stiffness -> riding quality and for durability, if I’m 80 miles from the next town I don’t want to bust something.

    PS why do so many people in this discussion seem so unfriendly, do you not like the other riders? Are you trying to hurt their feelings? What’s up? Tell me what you ride, but don’t get on someone else case for having adifferent opinion.

  26. Dieter Says:

    Vandal’s post is a great read and should take less than 60 seconds to read for anyone with basic reading skills.

    Anyway, I love my hardtail 26er and 29er and do not really dig suspension suspension, but after seeing an MRI of my Lumbar Spinal Region, I say bring on the suspension!!!

  27. Vic Says:

    I went to Tucson for El Tour weekend (its a roadie thing, huge ride over 9k bikes 109 miles, got sick, did not ride) while there, I was well enough to spin the HIFI 29er for a few minutes. I am not sure that 4″ on a 29er counts as long travel, but this seemed like a good spot to post. The rear end is very stiff laterally and the platform on the shock with recommended pressure is not likely to let go without a pretty good hit.

    If i go out on local trails for less than two hours and the sun is up, chances are I am on a rigid SS. If the sun is down or the day is longer, geared hardtail front suspension.

    I love both bikes, but when 24 hour racing, endurance racing (Chupacabra!) or doing the epics of Crested Butte and or Monarch Crest/ Rainbow Trail, I find something that would reduce fatigue without costing climbing energy would be a nice addition to my collection. The extended 4k ft descents on roots surrounded by babyheads can take the stuffing out of you on a 10-12 day trip. I think the HI FI might be my next bike. I need to ride a few others first.

  28. rallysmurf Says:

    i have 2 29ers, one RIGID, one with 6”.

    both are fun to ride, they are just able to

    they are just faster in different areas! WAY faster.

    and “fast is cool!”

  29. Vandal Says:

    Thank you, Desert9r, for that very mature, well-developed response to my “novel” of a post. Having actually read many novels, I assure you that my post is substantially shorter. I suggest beginning with Fox in Socks and progressing to Green Eggs and Ham. Instead of slinging mud like a four-year-old, try making a counter-argument. And I believe there are other, more appropriate, forums on the net for those interested in discussing penis size.

  30. Desert9r Says:

    isn’t Mud Sling 101 manitory for graduation???

  31. Vandal Says:

    No, but learning to spell “mandatory” is.

  32. Desert9r Says:


    Loosen up! get hammered, laid a massage even!

  33. Vandal Says:

    (You’re making this too easy for me.)
    Desert9r, without proper punctuation and syntax, your last attempt at ruffling my feathers makes very little sense. Please have your next posting proof read before submitting it for my amusement.

  34. Vandal Says:

    To be more constructive, I like my big, yellow Paragon, but for my local rocks and roots, 4.5″ of RIP9 suspension would be an improvement.

  35. bdog Says:

    i moved from a hardtail to a gf supercal 29er and was able to ride harder and faster down trails that i could barely do on a hardtail – and this on a very XC oriented bike. there are times that i wished i had more travel considering the VERY rocky and rough terrain here in Israel. 4.5 inches would be great, but ofcourse the sacrifice is in the climbs and the ride home…..
    i believe i read somewhere that lenz has a 29er bike called the behemoth, and it has FIVE inches…..has anybody ridden this beast yet?

  36. Guitar Ted Says:

    bdog: First of all, I would love to ride in Israel sometime. The pics I have seen look awesome.

    I have ridden the 5 inch travel Lunchbox by Lenz, (which is basically a modified Behemoth) and it was a fantastic riding bike. Very nimble for a 5″ travel FS and didn’t feel like a truck. I think you would really like the Behemoth.

  37. 29er3+ Says:

    I’m not sure I see what was wrong with 26 inch wheels…29er’s are kind of big and clunky for cross country riding (from my experience), and when you add more suspension, things break easier (also the flex of the 29er wheel is certainly not choice for any light or heavy freeride).
    But, to each his own.

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