Some may recoil in horror at the weight of my race bike, some may recoil at the fact its a 29er, some may recoil at both although most will probably stay suitably unsprung at these two elements of what is just somebodies mountain bike that they enjoy riding. I’m with them people.
Bike weight was once an obsession of mine with an attitude of any way to get it lighter would make me faster even though looking back on it now these changes were probably detrimental to its performance. Luckily I grew out of that obsession and realised that never once had I crossed a finish line and thought ‘if my bike was 500g lighter I would have finished higher’. Having said that I’m not going to ignore the simple laws of physics; if 10kg slows you down then so will 1g albeit at a greatly reduced rate but at the same time I’m not going to let it get to me. I do however also appreciate that to some having a lighter bike isn’t just about speed its about the weight weenie bling factor as well as a common way to differentiate between similar bikes. This appreciation isn’t really reflected in my bike mind. I don’t have to much interest in the latest parts as I know my current bike is as is as functional, smooth and reliable as I need (/can afford) it to be and so I’m pretty content with it. Everything about my bike is adequate, normal, functional and boring, well, aside from its big wheels. 🙂
From my perspective 29ers are the biggest change to mountain bikes since I started about 13yrs ago. They’ve been moving along and advancing for a number of years now winning many fans along the way but it was only last year when I actually took an interest. Basically, for me and the type of riding/racing I do they just made sense. That roll over, momentum carrying, soft nature of the big wheels was very appealing as it would help in areas out on the trail that used to make me feel slow and battered, which bugged me. I was convinced they were amazing before I had even rode one! which could have easily set me up for a fall and after my first ride with a rigid fork I was left uninspired to be honest (plus massively beaten up. Kudos to those Ragley boys). I hurried my search for a suspension fork and on finding and fitting one I’m happy to say it simply transformed it into the bike I had hoped for and since then it’s made me smile every time I’ve ridden it.
Just need to race it now!
P.S. Its an On-One Scandal in case anyone was interested 😉