Of course, these bikes have existed in 26"er size for several years now. Usually 5" travel full suspension rigs like the Santa Cruz Nomad, or the Ibis Mojo.
Truth be known, these were the class of bikes that caused their riders to laugh at the big wheels, because they never thought they'd see a day when the versatility and fun factor would be challenged by anything with 29 inch wheels. That is changing fast though.
Is that day here yet? Are big wheelers giving these bikes a run for their money? I think if we're honest, that day isn't quite here yet, but it sure is dawning. Bikes are coming for the model year 2012 that will begin to chip away at the hold 26 inch wheeled bikes have had on this category for years now.
|Diamondback Sortie Black 29|
This one has 120mm travel front and rear, so it's in the ball park travel-wise, but it is heavy. (27lbs plus as seen here) That weight will have to come down some to get it competitive with the 26"ers. I think it could definitely get there in carbon fiber. For an alloy frame, it's probably close, but not quite there.
The other thing that "isn't quite right" is the geometry. I think the Sortie's 70 degree head angle is likely a hair on the steep side, but it is okay. The real kicker is the 18 inch long chain stays. While I thought the Diamondback was a lot of fun, I bet it would be even more so with 17.75 inch chain stays.
Close, but not quite there.......yet!
|New Lenz Sport Mammoth|
These bikes will have slightly slacker head angles, longer travel suspension, and lighter weights overall. Some will be carbon fiber, of course, but even aluminum bikes will begin to appear that will stake out a claim as a "stable killer".
The bikes won't be all-out AM/Trail bikes like the Banshee Prime and their ilk. No, these will be capable, (perhaps), of some light AM duties, but these will primarily become the bikes that the 26"ers before them were: XC capable, with weight in the ball park of an XC bike, but having "longer legs" than an XC bike would, being capable of doing most trails really well.
My "poster child" for this genre of 29"er is the new Lenz Sport Mammoth. A five inch travel, decently light weight full suspension bike that has short-ish chain stays, big tire clearance, and geometry that will take it from the XC trails to back country epics with ease.
Of course, it isn't the only bike coming that will push this concept even further. You can add bikes like Salsa Cycles Horsethief to this mix, perhaps, and for sure, Specialized's Camber comes to mind. Ibis will even add their own bike to this genre in the Ripley, which will be coming out.......sometime!
Is an "EveryBike" right for you? I'm thinking it will be for a lot of folks.
Note: All rights to the name "EveryBike" are attributed to Grannygear and any references to "EveryBike" here or elsewhere must give credit to the source, or bad bike karma will find you!