Note: With the end of the year looming, Guitar Ted Productions is going to take a look this week at some issues affecting the 29"er scene, endurance racing, and this blog in particular.
The other day I was thinking about some of the local guys that have tried 29"ers and were not very impressed. I was considering the reasons they gave and thinking about the particular bikes they had ridden. Then it dawned on me that they were victims of a time warp!
I remembered that when I first had gotten into the sport of mountain biking that the bike we used then was a very new developement in regards to frame geometry. Head angle, fork trail, and chainstay lengths were all just getting settled in after an experimental phase where designers had taken several different approaches to the design of the mountain bike. Sure, there were a few more nuances to iron out, and suspension threw things into a tizzy for a bit, but these were just minor bumps in the road to a highly refined set of geometry numbers.
Now with the advent of 29"ers and all of the new parameters we find ourselves in a bit of a time warp. Designers are taking different approaches to the bike as it is a different beast from a 26"er. The geometry numbers and details are still changing and being experimented with. This results in a few duds, if you will, in certain aspects of handling and ride characteristics. Just like it was in the 80's for 26"ers, so it would seem to be for us as 29"er riders today.
So, my friends that haven't been too impressed by the format have experienced this and there were expectations coming from the 26 inch world, which has been pretty dialed in for years and years now. They were not expecting to be riding experimental crafts, nor were they aware that they were test pilots. They went in thinking "this is the way they all are", which I have had the pleasure to de-brief them on. It's a problem with 29"ers and it isn't going away very soon.
Next time you take some one out for a 29"er test ride, it might not be a bad idea to explain the Time Warp. It'll spare alot of trouble in the end.
It's just a step to the left.......................