Archive for the ‘29Reviews’ Category

Lynskey Ridgeline 29″er: Final Review

July 2, 2009

It is time for the Lynskey Ridgeline to head back to Tennessee, so here are my final thoughts on this gray metal, single speed wonder-bike. If you want to catch up with my thoughts so far on the Ridgeline, check out my First Impressions post here.


The Ridgeline still has me awed by a few things. First off, the weight, which I don’t think I’d ever quite get over, is approaching road bike lightness. This isn’t reflected in an overly flexy, uncontrollable ride though. Quite the opposite. It actually has a very composed, stable feel on downhills and the bike does technical, “pick your way through”, and slow speed maneuverings without getting that wiggle that spells disaster. I really enjoyed descending on this bike even though it was a lightweight. It didn’t “ping” off stuff, and rode downhill a lot like a heavier rig. Of course, the climbs were very nice. Yes, you notice the lack of heft in the chassis, and don’t let anyone tell you to “just lose a few pounds” and live with your current steed. While losing body weight does indeed make a difference, so does a lighter bike.

The ride quality is very nice as well. I suppose I should mention the Lynskey titanium seat post here. The combination of the seat post extension and titanium frame was really nice. Trail chatter was definitely muted. Now it isn’t a soft tail feel, nor suspension by any measure, but I would liken it to the carbon stays of Salsa Cycles Mamasita/Selma frames, as a reference point. Of course, the test rig I rode had a White Brothers Rock Solid fork, but with a plush Reba up front, I think this may approach perfection in hard tail ride quality. That would be something I would definitely try if this were my own rig.

Of course, the mere fact that this is titanium is the icing on the cake. It won’t rust, and if it were to get scratched, I could refinish it myself to look practically new. Nice! Now if gray is too depressing, you could get it painted, but the silvery gray color was pleasant enough for me. Would I keep it for my lifetime? That’s always one of the benefits touted when titanium comes up in conversations. Hmm…….maybe. It is that smooth and the handling is pretty decent as it sits with this fork. A longer offset fork like the 46mm ones now being proffered? (Note: The Rock Solid is listed on White Brothers site as having a 42mm offset) I don’t know if I could do that for a lifetime, but I would give it a shot!

 lynskeyridgeline09-039There were some things I had issue with on the Ridgeline. First of all, the flex in the frame’s bottom bracket area precluded me from using anything wider than a 2.2 inch tire. I could get bigger rubber to rub the chain stays. <em>For me</em> that would be a down side. I am a bigger guy though, and some have said I have a pretty powerful pedal stroke, (Not my words), so take that with a grain of salt. Still, there is a bit of flex that some folks might find objectionable, especially if you crave fat rubber on your single speed. If you don’t need such fat tires, and/or are not such a masher, this likely will not be an issue with the Ridgeline. Secondly, the drive train was subject to popping on extreme power strokes up steeps. Every time it happened, I would find the chain slack. The chain line was spot on, the tensioners were locked down, and I never could ferret out just what it was that was happening. I’ve never experienced this with sliders on any other single speed. (Many of them with designs identical to the Ridgeline’s sliders) My only guess is that it was chain related. The Ridgeline as sent to me was set up with a 9 speed SRAM chain. If this were my rig, I would swap out to my typical 8 speed chain set up, or a 1 1/8th chain set up. Lighter riders might not ever see this happen, but if you are like me, I would definitely think about using a heavier chain.

Conclusions : The Lynskey Ridgeline is a “budget” titanium frame with exceptionally worked over, shaped tubes, fine welding quality, and a great ride. Calling it “budget” is really a misnomer. I would say more like a “custom production bike”. Of course, you can get a custom steel frame for this price, and that is a consideration here, especially if titanium’s non-rusting, easy care finish holds no sway over you. That said, the ride feel of titanium is different than any steel rig I’ve thrown a leg over. That would be a tough question to answer: custom steel or “custom production” titanium. That said, the Ridgeline is a high performance raceable bike that can be geared or set up single speed and will likely be under the weight of any steel frame out there. Considering these facts, The Ridgeline looks hard to beat, if the geometry suits you. If you are a bigger, more powerful rider, you may experience some unwanted frame flex in the bottom bracket, so beware. Otherwise, the Lynskey Ridgeline is an impressive titanium 29″er on many fronts.

Thanks to Lynskey Performance for supplying the Ridgeline for this review. Check out there website for more

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.

Origin 8 2X9 Crank Set: First Impressions

June 18, 2009

Twenty Nine Inches has been fortunate to have J&B Importers “Origin 8” brand let us try some of their new 2X9 mountain cranks recently. This is my report after several rides on the cranks.


The Origin 8 2X9 cranks are mounted to my Dos Niner, as shown and are mated with a 12-34 SRAM cassette. The bike was ridden on a combination of fast cross country type trail, single track, gravel/broken rock strewn climbs, and fire road climbs.

Shifting performance was excellent after my slightly worn chain got happy with the new teeth on the chain wheels. As long as your front derailluer is adjusted properly, I can not see any reason why your shifting wouldn’t be at least as good with these cranks. If you were to use a brand new cassette and chain, it should be trouble free from the get go. By the way, I adjusted out the low gear setting on my X-9 trigger shifter and I had excellent results with this.

On rolling single track, I found that the 44T ring was the way to go. I could use the entire cassette out back, and shifting performance was normal. The interesting thing I happened to find was that I could attack the hill in the big ring, then shift down to the 29 tooth ring and find myself either in, or a click or two at most from the perfect gear to finish off the climb with. Get over the top, shift once with the left thumb, and I was in a hammering gear for the down hill. It is easy to see why a racer might like the 2 X 9, or new 2 X 10 drive train option.

The 29 tooth chainwheel was sufficiently low enough to mimic granny ring climbs for short steeps, and medium length fire roads were done quite nicely here too. However; if your climbs start out steep, and last for anything longer than a football field, you may be wishing for some lower gears. (Unless you are in really great shape!)

 origin8crank09-073As this crank set is sold, it may not work quite as nicely as it did for myself. The gearing is specific to a more rolling, shorter climb sort of terrain, to my mind. If Origin 8 would offer options, or aftermarket rings that matched the look of the originals, one could tailor the gearing to their locality. For instance, it might make more sense for a Rocky Mountain rider to go with a 37 X 22, as an example. Or perhaps a 34T X 22T set up.

The cranks do work well as they are, and shifting has been normal. I will continue to flog these and report back later with how they do in the long run.

Salsa Cycles Fargo: Conclusions

June 13, 2009

Normally after this long a period with one bicycle I would be giving a “Final Review”. The thing is- I’m not done with this bike yet. The Fargo is just too versatile a rig to put a final word out on it already. That said, I am going to give you readers my thoughts on the Fargo and tell you where I’m going with the bicycle after this point.


Two single trackin’ Fargo rigs.

The “Big Question”:  First of all, the Fargo elicits a strong reaction from folks. Often I get a “Just what is that bike for? Is it a______” (Insert any one of several specific bicycle types here.) The “Big Question” really should be the “Big Clue”. It means that the Fargo is, if nothing else, a very versatile bicycle that could do many tasks well. I can not possibly call out every one of the Fargo’s possible uses, but I can tell you what it is<em>really good at</em>. The other question about the Fargo has to do with its “drop bar centric” design. I’ve covered the drop bar thing in great detail, but if you have not seen any of those posts, you can check them out here: Part I Part II Part III Part IV  Part V.

 The Fargo blends in well, no?

The Off Road Fargo: The Fargo off road is a wonderful rig. It really is a fun single track shredder. One thing to remember though: The Fargo is a rigid bike with a non-suspension corrected fork that has a specific offset designed to work with the geometry of the frame. Okay, what does that mean exactly? Well, it means that you shouldn’t put a suspension fork on this bike. You really should stick with the stock fork as it comes with the Fargo. The good news is that this is a fantastic steel fork. The bad news is that this is a fantastic steel fork! The “rigidness” of the Fargo imparts a certain riding style and technique, a certain use that will not be suited to, oh let’s say…..<em> all mountain riding</em>. (Although, once upon a time mountain bikers rode all over the place on rigid steel rigs, ya know.) I think that the Fargo is best suited to buff single track to maybe some light technical trails. I rode it on several occasions where there were rooty, rocky descents, drop ins, and tight, twisty ascents. The Fargo can do this, and it shreds in fast, flowy trail settings. However; the Fargo has a lower bottom bracket height that may, or may not, be a problem for you. I liked it, and yes- I got ejected out of my pedals and struck things with the pedals from time to time.

 Designed in Minnesota, Made in Taiwan

The Back Roads Fargo: This is where the Fargo starts to come into its own. The Fargo absolutely shines on fire roads, dirt paths, gravel roads, and the like. Anywhere a road bike starts to become a liability, the Fargo starts to really make a lot of sense. Of course, if you are putting the Fargo to touring duty, and you have to traverse this sort of terrain, there are not many other choices in 700c wheels that can do what the Fargo can. One thing I found is that the heavier the load, the comfier the Fargo gets, just like a nice steel touring bike for the road. Gravel road riding and dirt road riding, for fun, adventure, or racing is tailor made for Fargo owners. Call it “multi-terrain”, or whatever, the Fargo is the right tool for the job here.

 Back roads are the Fargos forte’

The Pavement Fargo: Here is where maybe some folks will have a harder time justifying the Fargo as a viable choice, but they really shouldn’t. Put on some nice, voluminous street rubber and the Fargo becomes an urban pot hole eating machine. That burly steel frame, the rider position bred from off roading, and the way the Fargo’s steel frame gives in that classic way that only steel can makes it a great choice for the urban-bound rider. Add in the fact that it can be decked out easily with fenders, racks front and rear, and any assortment of bags one could desire, and you have a sleeper of a commuter rig. Not only that, but you could spend about a half an hour and swap out rubber, remove some of the urban trappings, and be mountain biking on your favorite secret inner city trail. Going real skinny with the rubber will cause you to have a bottom bracket height that may be an issue though, so if high speed city travel or spirited club riding is in your cards, their are far better rigs for those purposes. (Perhaps Salsa’s own Casseroll model?) However; don’t discount the Fargo as pavement bike. It is a suitable heavy city cruiser capable of carrying a big load and laughing at rough city streets.

 Urban scenes are Fargo territory too.

The Fargo From Here To…: The Fargo here at Twenty Nine Inches is now going to be set up as a light tourer in more of a “bike packing” vein. Think minimalistic gear, lighter weight than full bagged touring, and capable of going off road. The adventures will wait until I can assemble the proper satellite gear, but when I do, I’ll be back with some reports.

 Going far? Go with a Fargo

The Bottom Line: The Fargo is not only a very unique 29″er, it is a very unique bike- period. It is capable of pulling off mountain biking, and doing a decent job of it. It can shine as your “multi-terrain” steed, or it can pull duty on city streets with the best commuter rigs. Is it the one bike for everything? Well, the answer to that question is “no” of course. Here’s where I stand on the Fargo: If I had to get rid of all my bikes but one, the Fargo would be at the top of my list of choices to keep.

Thanks to Salsa Cycles for providing the Fargo for review. Stay tuned for some “adventurous” updates soon.

Geax Gato 2.3″ 29″er Tire: Midterm Report

June 6, 2009

   Editor’s Note: chris_geotec chimes in with his latest update on the Geax Gato 2.3″ 29″er tires.

4, Midterm report:

Meanwhile I have a decent testing period on my 29er GATOs 2,3 and I have had the chance to ride them for a fair amount of miles under varying conditions – much mud and soft ground but also occasions of slush and ice and now more and more of dry conditions (welcome summertime!!) and here comes my personal mid-term verdict: This tire rules!!

In terms of grip and traction it performs perfect in almost all conditions. Here we have a tire which needs to fear no competition. Especially in soft conditions from medium to very soft the GATO is oh so gooooood. Only in loose over hardpack will you find limits, but they do come in a very controlled manner.

Due to the decent weight, the flexible tread and supple casing it rolls surprisingly well. This tire has no intention to be a pure bred racer (that´s what the Barro Race is for) but it sure is no anchor. Considering its All Mountain genes it rolls very well. In comparison to its smaller 26er brother, the 29er GATO 2.3 received a positively enlarged tread; the knobs got bigger (adding grip & traction), but so did the gaps in between knobs, giving a bit of “gnarly” rolling over hard, smooth surfaces – nothing bad but it is noticeable when compared directly and riding at slow speed.

Self-cleaning and mud shedding I have mentioned it before, but briefly put: very good.

 Cornering is the one place I could found the GATO favoring a riding style actively leaning into corners BMX-style. Those of us who ride corners by simply staying balanced atop the bike might find the GATO to not be homogenous throughout varying angles. I am not the most aggressive rider in corners so I only found myself reaching the limits, but for some riders this might become an issue.

 The reason: There is a wide gap between the central knobs and the lateral ones (much like the Ardents). When cornering hard there is a certain lean angle (near 45°) where the central knobs are only barely edging but the side knobs don´t touch the ground yet. In my opinion the side knobs are sitting just a tad too low on the casing to fullfill their duties for all riders. All this remains unnoticed in anything but hard and smooth surfaces – on softer or rough ground (what the tire is made for after all) the tread will create enough imprint to disguise the transition or lack thereof. When running on lower psi (which I think really brings the TNT GATOs to shine), creating more flex to the casing this also becomes completely immaculate. So in the end it is something that everyone has to judge for himself if it is an issue or not. To me it was merely a minor flaw.

(I must admit that using a wider rim would also mediate to some extent, but unfortunately I had no such things while testing.)

 Flat resistance or punctures has never been an issue. Despite many times hitting my rims at extremely low pressures I never suffered from a single snake bite. Since I have always used some form of latex based sealant small punctures might have occurred but I never noticed anything. The durable yet flexible casing sure does a good job to make the tire not only feel stable but also keep away any objects protruding though the sidewalls. Therefore there were no complaints in that area but on the other hand I have to say that since riding tubeless with sealant I hardly ever worry about flats anymore. When still riding tubed I had times of 4-7 flats during one ride – so to me tubeless feels so much better.

Wait for some more miles and dryer conditions (especially rocky grounds) until you get my final verdict on the GATOs.




West Coast On Test: Continental Race King 2.2 29er tires

June 3, 2009



Fresh off the farm from the folks at Continental Tire, we have received a pair of the brand spankin’ new Race Kings for 29ers to put through their paces on the West Coast.  Guitar Ted has already been riding these in the Mid West and now I get to play with some.  It is full on dry in So Cal right now.  The kitty litter covered hardpack is everywhere and the sand and silt is a part of nearly every ride.

Out of the box, the weights were 660 and 672 grams per tire.  I really like the tread pattern and the smaller, low profile knobs look like a very strong hardpack performer and fast rolling tire.  The Mountain King 2.4s are one of my fav tires of all time and I am looking forward to getting these mounted up and rolling down the trail.  I plan on running them tubeless on the Flows for the Lev and tubed on the DT Swiss rims for the SS.

Stay tuned.

Project DiSSent, West Coast: The Follow Up.

June 2, 2009

OK, you may or may not recall that this was a bit of an experiment in several areas.  I was curious about aluminum as a viable SS ride compared to steel, I wanted to see how a longer top tube affected the overall performance of the bike, and wanted to weigh the benefits of ride quality (smoothness, compliance, etc) VS. pedaling response and overall stiffness in the frame of an SS only bike.

This is what I found over several rides:

* Oversize aluminum is what it is. There is little magic going on here to make it supernaturally behave other than its nature suggests. The Dissent is a mixed bag of emotions when you point it into the bumpies. The back end is surprisingly smooth, in fact I would not be surprised if it is smoother than the Karate Monkey is (my last SS ride)or at least pretty darn close. The front end of the bike is very stout and therein lies the rub…I have not figured out how to ride only on the back wheel for every bump. Until I do, the DiSSent shows its oversize, gusseted nature quite plainly here. It may not be ‘harsh’, but it is certainly ‘abrupt’.

* It is a fine handling bike. Not only does it crush the Karate Monkey in overall handling prowess (except in one area), it is a better handling bike than my Lenz FS. Here I am sure the resolute frame is working for me. It turns, holds the line, and just is unfazed by whatever I can hang on through.

* The longer top tube length is a mixed bag. I went from a 24.25″ effective top tube on the Karate Monkey to a 25.25″ effective top tube on the DiSSent, pulled back the cockpit 1/2″ with a shorter stem, leaving me one half inch more to stretch out into. It feels great when I stand to pedal, really great. But I needed to move the saddle forward a bit, maybe another 1/2″ to get the feel right when seated, so what was the point? To run a shorter stem? That is about all I really changed, that and having a longer wheelbase. What I did lose was a bit of playfulness. The 19″ DiSSent I rode was not this way, so I feel that, at least for this bike and set up, the extra length needs to come from something other than frame length. However, it still turns like a guided missle, despite the size of it and I bet for a slightly taller person than I it would be killer.

* Pedaling perfomance Vs. Ride quality. So, I had a theory: Does the high demand for pedaling performance on an SS, and by that I mean the ability of a frame to take the high pedaling loads and transfer that into forward motion; does that allow for compromise on ride quality, what we call ‘suppleness’ or smoothness’ or what have you? At this price level, steel is often less than fabulous in that if it rides very smoothly, it will likely be flexy at the BB. If it is stiffer, like the KM, it likely will not be all that nice of a ride. And, cheap steel is heavy. Result? I think the DiSSent is absolutely worth the tradeoff with one proviso…can you take the beating that will result? The DiSSent is simply fabulous when it comes to surging forward under hard pedaling, steep climbs, fast charges, etc. It rocks. But, it ‘rocks’ me in other ways that, at my age and level of frailty, is just too much to enjoy over a long trail day. But, if you are not too concerned with that and are more bulletproof than I (not too hard), then the DiSSent, for the money, is ‘Da Bomb. It would be a fabulous race bike for XC duty.

All that likely adds up to a uncertain future for the DiSSent and I and it is likely I will not keep it as my one and only SS ride as I am pretty trail oriented rather than race focused.  That begs the question, “What is next?”. Not sure. But whatever it is it will be living in the shadow of the DiSSent, a flat black shadow of a mean and fast bike that does what it does very well indeed.  Think junk yard dog.


The diSSent Papers: Single Speed Reviews By The Cyclist

June 2, 2009

Here’s your link source for all of our news and reviews on Misfit Psycles diSSent single speed.

A Captain Bob Review

A West Coast View: Update, by Grannygear

A West Coast View by Grannygear

First Impressions by Guitar Ted

Project diSSent West Coast: The Follow Up, by Grannygear

Bontrager 29-3 Tires: Update

May 31, 2009

With some trail time on these tires, I am ready for an update on them for you. Let’s take a look at what I’ve been doing on them, and the rig I’ve been riding them on first though.

The Salsa El Mariachi with a Bontrager rigid fork

The Salsa El Mariachi with a Bontrager rigid fork

The Salsa El Mariachi I have is outfitted with a Bontrager Race X Lite Switchblade fork. The wheels are also from Bontrager and are the Race X Lite TLR wheels which are being run tubeless with the 29-3 tires. The main testing grounds have been at “The Camp” which has a wide range of terrain consisting of steep, rooty climbs, sweeping turns, switchbacks, off camber traverses, and soil ranging from some embedded rocks, to dirt, to some sandy traps.  In other words, a pretty varied pallette to judge a tire by.

The 29-3 front specific tire

The 29-3 front specific tire

The Front Tire: The 29-3 tires are front/rear specific, so I am going to break down each tire and give my thoughts on how they do their jobs at each end. The front tire reminds me a whole lot of a Specialized Resolution tire that has tie bars on the base of the lugs. (The Resolution, a discontinued tire, did not have this feature.)  The performance is very similar as well. I ran the front tire at about 27 psi  and felt it was very good at absorbing some trail chatter, but not supple. I should say that this is a pre-production pair of tires and that the casings are somewhat stiffer than the casings the production tires will supposedly have. The lateral grip is really good, as you might expect from a tread pattern featuring this sort of layout in regards to the knobs. Braking traction was great. The cornering performance in the conditions I have run it on so far s been top notch. I have yet to get some real “loose over hard pack” yet though, so the jury is still out in that regard. However; if your trails consist of any dirt that is tacky, loamy, hard packed, or buff single track, these tires will rail. Sand isn’t their friend, although they do okay because of the volume of the casing here. Mud performance is decent, but not spectacular. This tire seems as though it would be a great all-round tire, in my opinion.

The rear 29-3

The rear 29-3 tire

The Rear Tire: The 29-3 tires are an odd couple. They just don’t have anything in common except the branding on the sidewalls. I will admit to still having some trouble with the looks of this combination, and most of my doubts are directed at the rear tire. It is diminutive. It doesn’t have a lot of anything, really- volume, width, or tread depth. What it does have, it makes to work above and beyond all my expectations. Let’s get to the point: I didn’t expect to like this tire at all. After riding it some, I have found it to be a very capable tire. The climbing traction this tire gives you is amazing, and all without a rolling resistance penalty. In fact, it rolls really well. I ran it at about the same 27 psi as the front, fearing pinching or bottoming out on roots, but I never did. Cornering traction was very good. Braking traction…..well, it gives away faster due to its size. If the tire was wider with a similar tread pattern, I think it would work far better. People that rely heavily on the rear brake will find issue with this tire though. Mud wasn’t a friend, and sand wasn’t either. The tread packs up fairly quickly and the narrow width of the tire just cuts right down into loose sand. (In fact, it does the same in mud, which may be good or bad depending on the type of mud you have.) Overall, an impressive tire, but perhaps better for drier, racing type adventures.

Thoughts So Far: The front specific 29-3 is intriguing and I would like to see how the tire would fare as a front and rear set. The volume for the width is fantastic. The cornering and braking traction has been spot on so far. I like this as a choice for a rigid front end especially. The rear is perhaps the best “monster cross” tire available. If I had a suitable rig, this rear tire would find its way onto both ends of it. Fisher/Subaru team racers and 29erCrew racers are reportedly all over the 29-3 rear tire as a front/rear combo for racing. I can totally see this as well. If you are an XC racer on a 29″er, check these out.

I will be doing some further testing of these treads and will give a “Mid Term” report in a few weeks. In the mean time, I hear that 29-3 tires will be coming into stock at Bontrager’s warehouse within days of this post. Stay tuned for more………..

Origin 8 2 X 9 Crank: On Test

May 28, 2009

The Cyclist has just received a brand new addition to the Origin 8 component line in the form of a new crank set offering. The crank set is a 2 X 9 specific design. 2 X 9 is becoming a way that many mountain bikers can get nearly the same gear range without using a small inner, or “granny” ring. (Apologies to our own Grannygear- We would like to keep you around!) At any rate, the drive train set up with a 2 X 9 will have better chain line, easier front shifting, and more usable combinations.  Some like 2 X 9 for the possibility of a narrower pedal stance; however, the benefits of narrow pedal stance, or “Q factor”, are in debate.

The new Origin 8 2X9 crank with 29T and 44T rings

The new Origin 8 2X9 crank with 29T and 44T rings

What the new crank does have are CNC machined aluminum rings on the 104/64 BCD pattern. There are profiles and pick up pins on the outer ring that aid in shifting. This set is also ISIS bottom bracket compatible. The arm length is 175mm. The set is anodized in black with laser etched graphics and CNC’ed highlights on the chain rings.

Laser etched graphics

Laser etched graphics

The crank set is available through independant bike shops that work with J&B Importers and will retail for a suggested price of $100.00. The set is a little weighty, but for this money, the crankset looks great and should be a good value. We will be bolting it up to a Salsa Dos Niner soon and will return with an update as to how these cranks perform out on the trail. Stay Tuned!