Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Ride 6.0 thoughts...

So more some thoughts I had about riding the 29er:  First I noticed that I am much more comfortable getting this bike up to speed now that I have a couple of weeks on it.  It hurts much less to stand up and mash them pedals and launch or climb in "danseuse".  

Secondly, and most importantly, is that my last ride really pointed out to me that I am "psychologically" uncomfortable w/ the bike and that I am actually fighting the bike and thereby limiting it. The biggest hurdle is getting over tall stuff.  I used to be really good w/ my Spech at just jumping over stuff.  My attitude was not to ride around anything if you could possibly get over it.  Now I find myself trying to get around everything because I am afraid I am not going to make it and take a face plant.  Ironic really, since so people profess how much easier it is to get over things w/ 29ers!  Part of me wants to it be as nimble as my 26er and I am trying force it, which is of course not working.  I noticed that during a tight rocky turn where I caught myself trying to pull the bike sideways.  W/ my Spech I used to be able to move my body in a certain position on the trail and just pull the bike underneath.   The 29er seems  to need to be ridden just the opposite: make sure you body stays on top and centered, and then the bike will get over "it".

Another major change is steering.  It was a rare day on the 26er where I would use the handle bar to alter course.  That bike was steered from the hips.  Period!  It's why I had 22' bars.  The 29er on the other hand needs to be steered by the bars.  And this bike is twitchy, at least comparatively so.  Turn the bars and whoop, off in another direction you go.  This is great at times, not at others.  For example, not when hitting an larger than expected bump that has you jerk at the bars unintentionally and sends you into the brush because of it.  

All these are adjustments I need to make and should be able to make without too much trouble.   I think my biggest worry at this time is about some loss of the "fun factor" of the 26er.  I loved throwing that Spech off of every little launch I could find. A bike that fulfilled my ADHD quite well. In comparison, the 29er seems more of a serious calm type!  I do need to have fun w/ the bike during the off season as it will get me comfortable w/ it's limits.   Speed should then come naturally!  Though, a nice set of much lighter wheels would greatly help with that.  Going from 1400 grams wheels to 2000+ will make anyone slower and is going to make any bike feel more lethargic.   Can't  wait to see what the new 2012 AM Classic Race wheels are going to actually hit the scales at.  Or might just get the standard Stan's Crest...

A digressive random though that just popped up while riding that day was that riding a hardtail might actually good for you when it comes to bone density.  There is that report that cyclist have low bone mass density.  Of course that research is based on roadies (and I wonder if there would be a significant difference between road pros vs mtb pros).   Maybe the increase off impact from the hardtail helps to prevent bone density loss...


  1. Hi Syl, I'm enjoying reading your in depth reports of owning a 29er!
    I was just wondering if you fancied taking part in my linky part called 'want it Wednesday'. It's easy and just a bit of fun really. You can see details on my blog under the tab want it Wednesday. You may have noticed some of my blogs on it. Anyway its on tomorrow if you're interested.

  2. Oh and from what I know mtb physiology is similar to that of roadie climbers. So bone density will be about the same. Mtbers tend to be better peddlers though :)

  3. When maneuvering try counter steering.
    In other words when turning right put pressure on the right grip as you lean to the right.

  4. Charlie, thx for the suggestion. Will have to try that.