Archive for June, 2009

More 2010 News And Sightings: Part II

June 29, 2009

This post will be image free, unfortunately, but the information is hot off the presses and without further fanfare, here we go!

Cannondale 2010 Models: We reported earlier that Cannondale will have two models of carbon fiber hardtail 29″ers coming out for 2010. Dubbed the “Flash 1” and “Flash 2” these are reported to be the lightest 29″er hardtails ever. Expect big price tags as well. We hear that the 26″er version is $8800.00. Alongside these models will be the aluminum hardtails. I have seen a sneak peek of these and here is what I can relate from the viewing I got.

There will be five aluminum models. The “29er 5” will be red and single speed. It features a rigid carbon “White Brothers-esque” fork, Avid mechanical brakes, and Kenda Smallblock 8 rubber. The “29er 4” model is geared, features a standard fork with big decals that say “Duece” (Perhaps the new RST model?), Deore trigger shifters, and hydraulic brakes in white. This model is flat black. The next model……you guessed it…….. the “29er 3”, is white with red graphics, has SRAM trigger shifters, Avid Juicy brakes in white, and a Lefty fork done up in white to match. This model also gets TruVativ Stylo handle bars. The “29er 2” is a moss green color, has SRAM X-9 looking drivetrain components, white brakes again, TruVativ bars, and a Lefty with lock out. All the aforementioned models have Smallblock 8 rubber. The next and highest model in the aluminum range is of course, the “29er 1” and is raw aluminum looking with what appears to be an XT kit, including brakes. The big news here is the wheels which appear to be Stan’s ZTR Arches shod with Racing Ralph rubber.

All aluminum models seem to share a brand new frame design with heavily manipulated tubing. (Hydro formed?) and even the seat stays are flattened with the intention of giving a more comfortable ride. These are all emblazoned with “Flash” decals which would lead us to believe that the carbon models will also feature these flattened stays. The graphics are similar to last years models with some minor changes.

More on these models as we get the info. We’re also hearing that Cannondale is going to make 1 1/8th steerer versions of its unique Lefty fork. No word on any aftermarket sales.

Update: I have now seen an image of the Flash Carbon 29er 1. It will be a SRAM X-0 bike outfitted with Avid Elixir CR carbon brakes, a Lefty Carbon at 80mm travel, Lefty SL front hub with a DT Swiss 240 rear hub laced to Stan’s ZTR Arch 29″er rims shod with Racing Ralph rubber. It is black, but I couldn’t tell if it was a nude carbon finish or not. (The spec says “Race Red”??) The graphics are different and more in line with Cannondale’s other 26″er hardtails. No price has been determined for the Flash 29er 1 as of yet. Also, I am told that the 1 1/8th Lefty is actually an aftermarket adapter kit and that the Lefty will not appear on Cannondale’s rigs with the smaller sized steerer.

Easton Wheel News: Twenty Nine Inches learned today that Easton will be releasing all new mountain wheels which will be UST standard compatible. This includes at least one 29’er model in the range, (dubbed “Haven”), and it is likely all models will be UST type. This is a trend which I personally have been advocating for pre-built wheels. Hopefully we will bring you more news about these wheels soon.

FRM Rims: Our European contributor, chris_geotech filled us in on some goings on over in Europe regarding 29″ers. One of the new developments is a FRM rim that is tubeless compatible. It looks as if a test will be in the works and Twenty Nine Inches will hopefully be able to bring you the results. “chris_geotech” also tells us that work on Geax’s tubular 29″er rubber is still progressing and that something may pop up in late summer as a prototype. Stay tuned for more on these European stories which we hope to bring to you.

Superfly 100 Meets With JHK’s Approval: In a bit of racing news, we have learned that Jeremy Horgan-Kobelski, who recently won the Winter Park Series XC event last weekend, was quite pleased with the performance of the new Superfly 100, which will likely see duty in an upcoming event. That will likely be the National Marathon Championships next weekend. (Firecracker 50). News is that it will get an upgrade to SRAM’s new XX group, so if you are around next weekend, keep your eyes peeled for this rig and JHK.

MattO_SF100

Oh……did I say “no images”? Well, I have to throw in this one of super-wrench Matt Opperman. Known as “MattO” , JHK and the rest of the Subaru/Gary Fisher Team rely on his skills to attain their peak performances week in and week out. As a mechanic myself, I have to give a fellow “wrench” some props!

That’s it for this edition of 2010 news. Stay tuned for more as Twenty Nine Inches gets it.

Easton XC One SS 29"er Wheels: Final Review

June 28, 2009

After having run the XC One single speed specific 29″er wheels for over half a year, we have a final review prepared for your reading pleasure. Check out how these stacked up over the long haul…….

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As the name of these wheels suggests, these are cross country 29 inch wheels and were tested as such. The terrain consisted of trails ranging from buff single track to rougher, root and rock strewn trails with plenty of climbing and down hills along the way. The rim width is definitely cross country specific and the overall build of these wheels suggests that they could easily become a race wheel set for those inclined to rage on one gear.

So, just how do they stack up? Well, weight-wise, these wheels are right in the ball park as we measured them early on in this review period. They are not crazy light, but they are not anchors either. Over the entire testing period, which included time spent on these wheels by our former reviewer, Captain Bob and I, these wheels have always exhibited the best, smoothest rolling bearings I have experienced in a long time. That is something that I saw as a benefit when single speeding since I could carry momentum that much further than some of my other single speed wheels. This wheel set coasts like crazy!

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Now with 24 spokes in each hoop, I have to admit, I anticipated problems at some point along the way. Captain Bob and I both go over 200lbs, and with such a low spoke count, I was at least expecting to see the wheels come out of true, or worse. I am surprised that never happened. The rims are as straight and true as the day I unboxed them last fall. The other thing related to the low spoke count is lateral rigidity. I fully expected flex to be an issue when using these wheels. Well, this has always been a bit hard to explain sufficiently, but flex in these wheels was almost a benefit of riding them.

Many times I have hit a corner hard to only have a wheel sort of “snap”, or wobble in the apex of the corner. Rim/spoke deflection often is random, and will shake a riders confidence, causing the rider to ease back a bit, or a lot, depending how bad it is. Well, both Captain Bob and I agree that the Easton XC One single speed wheels flex, but in a controlled, fully predictable way that allows you to be comfortable with the flex. It makes the wheels seem less harsh, and smooths out the ride of a hard tail. This flex is a lateral flex, and does not seem to affect climbing or braking at all. How Easton wheel builders/designers figured this out is a mystery to me, but there is no doubt it is there. Flex that is good? Maybe. I liked it, Captain Bob liked it, maybe you will too.

What isn’t so good? Well, the flex! Some riders are just not going to feel comfortable with the springy, alive feeling the Easton XC One wheels exhibit. It just isn’t everyone’s cup of tea. That said, the only other things I see here are either personal nit picks, or things that we couldn’t ferret out during the testing period. One is the straight pull spokes. If one was to break a spoke, it may be an issue to get a replacement in some cases. Secondly, these are not tubeless ready out of the box. (I’ll keep banging on that until wheel manufacturers get that sorted. I feel it should be a standard benefit of pre-built wheels.) Finally, Captain Bob, in his final report on these wheels, made mention of a free wheel noise. A “pop”, or crack he heard at times. I never was able to hear this. After Captain Bob’s time on them, all my rides were flawless. So if there was, or wasn’t an issue with the free hub, we can not say. My feeling is that it was something unrelated to the wheels.

Conclusions: Here is an excellent choice for a racing single speed wheel set for the person who appreciates a wheel that is “springy” and comfortable to ride with bearings that seem to spin forever. Could you train on them? I think so, yes. They are not tubeless ready, so a Stan’s strip is in order here. From the single speeders perspective, the free hub engagement is acceptable, the noise is average, and the cog alignment is good with the short cassette body. Bigger, heavier, more powerful riders may want to look elsewhere for stiffness, but the XC One single speed wheel is up to the task.

More 2010 News And Sightings

June 27, 2009

The leaks keep on coming from unofficial and official sources. 2010 looks to be a very interesting year for 29″ers and fans of the big wheels. More companies joining the big wheeled revolution, and more high end product than you can shake a stick at. It may seem ironic coming out of the economic meltdown of late 2008, but we’re talking about some very spendy 29″ers in this post. Time will tell how that works out.

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First up we have the sneak peek of Santa Cruz’s new 29″er model dubbed the “Tall Boy”. Using the VPP suspension design, this model will reportedly have 105mm of rear travel, (4.13 inches), that pivots on the newer angular contact bearings with grease fittings for future maintenance. Formed from carbon fiber, this rig is said to have a target weight of “really light” and will be offered in the orange seen here and possibly one other color. (Note, the aluminum rig shown behind the orange bike is a test mule prototype) No word on whether an aluminum version will be offered, or what the retail price might be. This picture is courtesy of Santa Cruz’s blog, where you can see more images of this new model.

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Next up we have a photo of Tomac Bikes new entry into 29″ers dubbed the “Flint 29”. Not much is known about this new offering, but it is interesting to note the eccentric bottom bracket. No word on whether this feature will make it to final production. We hear this will be a 2010 introduction, so more info should be coming soon. You can see this image and read some inner-web banter about it on this thread on mtbr.com.

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Finally, we have this image sent in by a reader of Jeremy Horgan-Kobelski’s Superfly 100 which he rode to victory in a recent Winter Park, Colorado cross country event. The Superfly 100 is Fisher Bikes new carbon fiber full suspension 29″er for 2010. Note the SRAM components in the anodized colors from SRAM’s “Select Program”. JHK has been running 2X9 setups for some time now. Note the direct mount front derailluer. If you look behind JHK’s rig, you can see Heather Irminger’s Superfly hardtail.

That’s it for now, but look for more “leaks” and news as the summer progresses.

Misfit Psycles Dissent: Final Review

June 25, 2009

It has been awhile since the Misfit Psycles Dissent has been written about by me, (you can find that here), and the last words on this rig were actually written by Captain Bob as his final review for Twenty Nine Inches. (A darn fine review, if I say so myself!) So, what in the world do I have to say after all of that? Well……………….the following:

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I’ll try not to cover the same ground as the others who have written their thoughts on this black aluminum beauty. I will say a few words about the frame and the way I felt it rode and handled. First off, if you are thinking the typical “aluminum is harsh” thing, the diSSent isn’t that at all. I would put it on par with the stiffer steel frames I have ridden. Sure, it will buck at you and send a sharp shiver up your spine if you are not careful, but it is a hard tail after all. Don’t expect “plush” to be part of the adjective pool here in this review! It just rides nicely, with a great response to pedal input, and not at all flexy. The front triangle is well dialed. Almost to a fault. It is stiff to the point that unless you have a forgiving combination of bar, fork, and tire, you may want to seriously consider a suspension fork. The diSSent’s gusseted front end doesn’t give much, but I feel that is a great attribute of this frame.

Because you have such rigidity in the front triangle, the diSSent goes where you point it. Leveraging the bars doesn’t get lost in a twist of the three front frame tubes, it goes to the rear tire, just like it should on a great single speed. Those two attributes are good in a single speed 29″er, and the diSSent has not disappointed me in this area.

The single speed specific nature of the frame design is a good thing as well. You can set it up as a geared rig, but only with full run housings. I like the commitment to a single speed only look though. The only nit I have with the frame is that the range that the sliders can move doesn’t quite accommodate a two tooth swing in rear cogs. It comes up just shy, and a bit of extra travel room for the sliders would be welcomed. Of course, a half link solves all the issues, so that is an easy solution.

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The fork offered for the diSSent is outstanding, and I was quite surprised by the performance of this lightweight aluminum piece. It had excellent ride qualities, not unlike the better carbon forks I have ridden. No lateral flex to bother mentioning, and steering precision was top notch. Again though, you should consider a big, fat tire as an ally in warding off bigger trail hits with the diSSent. The fork is good, but not that good! I think it matched up very nicely with the diSSent frame in terms of handling and geometry. The combination being quite easy to get to turn, and it wasn’t at all nervous in rougher terrain.

In Conclusion: The Misfit diSSent is a great package for just about any single speed build. It can definitely be raced, be a trail rig, or even an urban commuter. It is decently priced, and doesn’t have any glaring faults. Yes, it is aluminum, but that shouldn’t scare off anyone, as the diSSent rides quite nicely, not unlike a high quality, stiff steel rig. I recommend it and I feel it is a great value in a frame and fork.

A Nebraska Single Track Primer

June 25, 2009

A Nebraska Single Track Primer

By Guitar Ted 

Nebraska: Yeah, you know….that “fly over” state. That state that everyone on I-80 wishes was about 399 miles shorter. That “Nebraska” is what most people think of when they are presented with the idea of bicycling there. Well, those who have been there, live there, and more importantly, have ridden there, know a lot better than that. I’ll admit, I’ve had my eyes opened to a new way of thinking about Nebraska as a place to ride off road, that’s for sure. 

My education in cycling in Nebraska started in 1995 while doing a tour on paved roads from my home state of Iowa. We traversed the northeastern corner of the state and I found it to be a beautiful country of rolling hills. That would be just a foretaste of what was to come much later though. 

Fast forward 14 years: I was invited by a Nebraska resident and friend, Matt Gersib, to try out some off road single track in the eastern part of Nebraska near Bellevue. I was to be staying with some friends and decided to take him up on it. So I took my bicycle with me to Nebraska once again. Only this time I was in search of some dirt. 

I wasn’t to meet with Matt until Friday, but on Thursday, I found some free time and looked up a local park to explore. Swanson Park, in Bellevue, turned out to be only about a mile from where I was staying, so I pedaled over to check it out. I was not expecting a whole lot, I mean, it is Nebraska, right? So I figured it would be a good little jaunt through a city park and that would be that.

 

Boy, did I ever get that wrong!

 

Swanson Park is a great piece of single track sweetness. I was really surprised by how well it was marked and kept up. I found out that the local trail maintenance group, T.H.O.R.(Trails Have Our Respect), was responsible for that and the upkeep of a few other trail areas in and around the Omaha area. Having a trail well marked, clean, and weed free is a big selling point for folks coming from out of state, and Swanson Park measured up on all fronts there

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But you have to have good riding too. That is important as well. Swanson Park isn’t a technically challenging trail by any measure, but what it lacks in technical difficulties, it makes up for with fast, swoopy, roller coaster like trails. Guaranteed smile inducing dirt here. I was also pleasantly

surprised by a nice ascent into some open prairie. This wide open section was filled with tall grass

punctuated by trees here and there, giving a distinctly different feel to the riding experience than you get in the thick canopy of Swanson Park’s wooded sections. I was told later by Matt that this particular section was a reclaimed dump area. That was just a great example of an eyesore turned into a beautiful green space that can be accessed by bicyclists and hikers alike.

 

 

Following the prairie section was a fast down hill around the volunteer fire department training area and back into the roller coaster single track hidden under the vast green roof formed by Swanson Park’s trees. It was such a fun loop, I did it twice! 

The following day, I met up with Matt and we searched out another little “gem” of single track in the area. Jewel Park is near the Missouri River, and a great, steep hill marked with several ravines was host to another fun single track here. Up, up, up we went on a switch backed trail on to the top of the hill. The tight, twisty trail that included several steep drops and climbs out of ravines, made for a very challenging experience, quite unlike Swanson Park. 

Now after having pegged my heart rate at Jewel Park, Matt had one more stop on our single track adventure planned for the day. Platte River State Park, which is just in between Omaha and Lincoln, was the destination. Here horse riders and bicyclists share the trail in a unique arrangement that allows the equestrians use of the trail in the early part of the afternoon until 4:00pm. Then the mountain bikers have the trails all to themselves for the remainder of the day.

 

 

“Platte River”, as the locals refer to it, or simply “Platte”, is an awesome network of trail that winds in and out of hills, ravines, and even some open prairie along the Platte River before it meets the Missouri. Matt guided me and another rider that day on the trails which were technically challenging, fast, swoopy, and most of all, a ton of fun. The single track here I would rate as good as or better than anything I have ridden in the nation. It is that good. Yes……in Nebraska! 

My conclusion after the two days of riding? I have to come back! I had a blast on the trails I rode on, and I would highly recommend them to anyone coming into the Omaha/Lincoln area. You will find the trails well kept, marked, and clear of blow downs. The access to these areas is easy, and one could feasibly hit all three areas I did in a single day, if you wanted to. I say that you should stay longer and savor each one. I know I wish I could have! 

Nebraska off road riding opportunities exists beyond this area as well. In fact, I will be attending a festival in another area of Nebraska in the fall that offers a great single track experience. It is called the Big Wheeled Ballyhoo, and you can come too. Check the website out here at www.bigwheeledballyhoo.com

 

The 411:The best off road trail information is available on the local T.H.O.R. webpage. There you will find directions and trail maps for all three of the trails mentioned here and others in the area. (Yes! There is much, much more.) Most of the single track I rode in Nebraska is all accessible from Bellevue, Nebraska’s oldest city. There are several motels and lodging choices in the area that you can base your operations out of. The Lincoln and Omaha areas are also a great place for restaurants, entertainment, and other recreational opportunities. Omaha and the surrounding area also has an excellent paved trail network as well, if you are wanting a more “civilized” cycling experience. More information on the Metropolitan Area Trails Network can be found here:. http://www.bellevuenebraska.com/Parks-Rec.aspx

More Information on Platte River State Park can be found here: http://www.ngpc.state.ne.us/parks/guides/parksearch/showpark.asp?Area_No=224

 

You can find out more about the great state of Nebraska and the things to do and places to stay at the 

official Nebraska Tourism site: http://www.visitnebraska.gov/

 

Continental Race King 2.2″ Tire: Midterm Review

June 24, 2009

The Race King tires are still being ridden here and I now have a Midterm Report  ready for you all on these new shoes from Continental. First off, a big change was made since the last report in that I have set these up as tubeless tires on Stan’s Flow rims using the CaffeLatex sealant I have been testing. The process was easy and so far the Race Kings have had no issues being run tubeless, much like the experience I had with the Mountain Kings last year.

 

Because of this change, the width measurement has gone up from the 51.3mm I got in my last report to a whopping 56.5mm! (That is 2.22 inches, so it made the claimed width) Continental’s 29″er tires seem to stretch quite a bit, and even more so as tubeless tires. This is interesting and not necessarily unique to Continental; however, their casings seem to stretch more than others I have converted or tried tubeless.

 

With that in mind, the Race Kings continue to be an eye opener in terms of traction. Climbing, braking, and cornering traction are all above expectations with this tire. Especially considering what we have for knobs here. That said, there are a couple of downsides I want to point out with the Race King tires. First, the lack of anything substantial for side knobs means that lateral traction is not good. If these tires let go, you won’t save it in a corner. Ruts, off camber, or loose rocks and wet roots reveal this weakness as well. Secondly, any “extreme” situation will quickly overwhelm the Race King. Loose rocks, steep pitches, mud, or loose over hardpack will make you wish for more aggressive tread. (But that is what the Mountain King is for) Still, you won’t be disappointed if you use these as an “all rounder” tire, or specifically as a racing tire. The performance on dry, rough to buff single track is awesome.

The Race King also impresses as a tire that is cushy. The casing seems to be a very supple one and rides similarly to a Schwalbe Racing Ralph in that you seem to be excused from dealing with small trail chatter and the odd branch or small stone with the Race King. I believe it has a lot to do with how fast these tires roll as well. Between the plush casing and low rolling resistance, the Race King might just be the best single speed, rigid fork tire for racing that there is for 29″er freaks. Obviously, it makes your suspension rig feel that much better as well.

The comparison to a Bontrager XDX has come to mind for me here. The two tires are very similar in profile, width, and in how they perform. The only big difference between the two is that the XDX is stiffer feeling, probably due to the “AR” casing that Bontrager uses to beef up the XDX tire with. Otherwise the XDX and the Race King are tires with much the same performance characteristics. My choice would be for the Continental in most situations just because I prefer the nicer ride quality. If I lived in more severe terrain though, the XDX would win out due to its burly construction.

That’s it for now. I will continue to put the race Kings through their paces and I will chime in with a Final Review in about a month.

Continental Race King 2.2" Tires: Midterm Report

June 24, 2009

The Race King tires are still being ridden here and I now have a Midterm Report ready for you all on these new shoes from Continental. First off, a big change was made since the last report in that I have set these up as tubeless tires on Stan’s Flow rims using the CaffeLatex sealant I have been testing. The process was easy and so far the Race Kings have had no issues being run tubeless, much like the experience I had with the Mountain Kings last year.

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Because of this change, the width measurement has gone up from the 51.3mm I got in my last report to a whopping 56.5mm! (That is 2.22 inches, so it made the claimed width) Continental’s 29″er tires seem to stretch quite a bit, and even more so as tubeless tires. This is interesting and not necessarily unique to Continental; however, their casings seem to stretch more than others I have converted or tried tubeless.

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With that in mind, the Race Kings continue to be an eye opener in terms of traction. Climbing, braking, and cornering traction are all above expectations with this tire. Especially considering what we have for knobs here. That said, there are a couple of downsides I want to point out with the Race King tires. First, the lack of anything substantial for side knobs means that lateral traction is not good. If these tires let go, you won’t save it in a corner. Ruts, off camber, or loose rocks and wet roots reveal this weakness as well. Secondly, any “extreme” situation will quickly overwhelm the Race King. Loose rocks, steep pitches, mud, or loose over hardpack will make you wish for more aggressive tread. (But that is what the Mountain King is for) Still, you won’t be disappointed if you use these as an “all rounder” tire, or specifically as a racing tire. The performance on dry, rough to buff single track is awesome.

The Race King also impresses as a tire that is cushy. The casing seems to be a very supple one and rides similarly to a Schwalbe Racing Ralph in that you seem to be excused from dealing with small trail chatter and the odd branch or small stone with the Race King. I believe it has a lot to do with how fast these tires roll as well. Between the plush casing and low rolling resistance, the Race King might just be the best single speed, rigid fork tire for racing that there is for 29″er freaks. Obviously, it makes your suspension rig feel that much better as well.

The comparison to a Bontrager XDX has come to mind for me here. The two tires are very similar in profile, width, and in how they perform. The only big difference between the two is that the XDX is stiffer feeling, probably due to the “AR” casing that Bontrager uses to beef up the XDX tire with. Otherwise the XDX and the Race King are tires with much the same performance characteristics. My choice would be for the Continental in most situations just because I prefer the nicer ride quality. If I lived in more severe terrain though, the XDX would win out due to its burly construction.

That’s it for now. I will continue to put the race Kings through their paces and I will chime in with a Final Review in about a month.

Scott Bikes To Introduce A 29″er Model For 2010

June 23, 2009

It is being reported on Twitter that Scott Bikes is introducing a 29″er model for 2010. A lone aluminum hardtail is set to bow for the coming year with no other hard details on this offering being reported as yet.

It is interesting to note that Scott was denying that they would do a 29″er anytime soon only a year ago. However; with more big names getting into the market, (namely Giant), and most likely dealer pressure, Scott seems to have reversed its previous stance on big wheelers. Look for more details as we can ferret them out.

Scott To Introduce A 29"er Model For 2010

June 22, 2009

It is being reported on Twitter that Scott Bikes is introducing a 29″er model for 2010. A lone aluminum hardtail is set to bow for the coming year with no other hard details on this offering being reported as yet.

It is interesting to note that Scott was denying that they would do a 29″er anytime soon only a year ago. However; with more big names getting into the market, (namely Giant), and most likely dealer pressure, Scott seems to have reversed its previous stance on big wheelers. Look for more details as we can ferret them out.

Update: We now have an image, courtesy of Carlton Reid of Quick Release TV

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The first bike in the rack here is the 29″er.

Stay tuned for more!

Racers Begin To Use- And Win- on 29"ers

June 21, 2009

When 29″ers were yet seen as a curiosity, a fad, or something far worse, (some folks are still thinking all three things!), the idea of someone racing a 29″er in the upper ranks of mountain biking was not even on the radar, much less a serious thought. Now things have changed dramatically in those regards.

Of course, the Fisher-Subaru Team has raced 29″ers for a couple of seasons now at selected races. Jeremy Horgan-Kobelski and Sam Schultz are regularly using the big wheels now, but that’s to be expected. Fisher Bikes is the 29″er company, by any one’s measure, so having the team use 29ers isn’t taken too seriously outside of their fan base as a rule. Now though, several others are looking at, and using big wheels in racing at the sports top level, and folks are taking notice.

Let’s tick off a few highlights just from this season…….

-Todd Wells uses a Specialized carbon 29″er hardtail to put in a spectacular ride. He breaks a chain at the start line. Fixes it, is dead last in a 120 plus man field, and rides in for a top five finish in Fontana, California.

-Niner Bikes sends riders John “Fuzzy” Milne, Deejay Birtch, Rebecca Tomaszewski, and a couple others to Italy where they dominate the Finale 24hr event. Niner takes the 8 man team category- with 6 riders- ……on single speeds against geared riders! Tomaszewski won the solo female category on her geared Niner hardtail. All against top riders in Italy.

-Salsa Cycles first Selma single speed in the U.K. is ridden to the U.K. Single Speed Championship.

-Heather Irminger wins a short track XC event on a Superfly hardtail recently with Todd Wells and JHK coming in one, two on big wheels in the men’s event.

Get the picture?

Could it be that now 29″ers will be another “tool in the box” of all top pro racers? Well, maybe if the Europeans start to ride them, and with the recent accomplishments in Italy and the U.K., this may not be far off. But then again, who in their right mind would race a 29″er? It’s just silly, right?

It’s going to take more wins and top finishes, but I think that it is just silly enough it will happen sooner or later.