Geoff Kabush on 29ers

Forums Mountain Bike Forum Geoff Kabush on 29ers

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    • #109453

      I just read an interesting email/blog post written by Geoff Kabush about his recent switch to 29ers as part of the Scott racing team. I love this bit:

      People have been saying whoa, what, hold on, I thought he said he would never race big wheels? The truth is it was the over the top evangelists and 29er propaganda that I have had quite a distaste for and not the actual bicycle wheel size. The fact that the "church of 29er" tribe is overly sensitive also made them quite fun to mess and joke around with. I have a mechanical engineering degree, I am a man of science, and when people feed me [email protected]#$% facts and bend the truth I take offence.

      It is pretty crazy how much hype has surrounded 29er bikes and how many fanboys/girls are out there. At the end of they day, Geoff recognizes that 29ers work for some folks but not others. Ride what feels good.

      Switching to a 29er there is immediately a different sensation and some of the benefits are certainly tangible. I won’t get into detailed analysis but I think one of the underrated benefits is higher rear axle for climbing; it shifts the weight balance, keeps the front wheel down, and allows you to keep a more relaxed position.

      Unlike Geoff, I don’t have a mechanical engineering degree but this idea of a higher rear axle is a new one to me. The rear axle is definitely higher on a 29er but isn’t the front axle higher by the same amount? Now, if we’re talking about a 96er with a 29er wheel in the back, 26er up front (or 69er – not sure what the proper term is) I can see how this would keep the front wheel down for climbs. But somehow I imagine it’s more complicated than that…

    • #109454

      I don’t have a degree in mechanical engineering either, but I did stay in a Holiday Inn Express once…

      I assumed he was referring to the relationship between the higher rear axle and the rider’s center of gravity and the height of the bottom bracket.

    • #109455

      Personally, I think the mere increased size of the contact patch aids in uphill traction.

    • #109456

      Due to a derailuer blowout on my "B" bike while doing the XXC race sweep at Douthat a couple of weeks ago, I was "forced" to borrow my bud’s HiFi 29er for a 20ish mile ride. It was my first real ride on a 29er. I must say I was impressed at how well it climbed. I was also impressed with how well it rolled once you got going. The only thing it did not seem to do as well for me was traction on wet rocks. That could have been the tires or my balance since it was new to me. I found that I leaned in more on off camber stuff so it may just take some getting used to. Most likely a 29er will be in my future. Maybe after I win the lottery. 😆

    • #109457
      "CraigCreekRider" wrote

      I was "forced" to borrow my bud’s HiFi 29er for a 20ish mile ride.

      That was the first 29er I ever threw a leg over and I hated it. Before you take the plunge, ride a bunch of different models and see what you like.

    • #109458

      Rode my first full suspension 29er this weekend: Trek Superfly (carbon frame, xt build). What a super fly ;) bike! Only thing I didn’t like was that it felt twitchy in the turns for some reason. Not sure if it was me just not being used to the bike, the narrow tires, or the fact that I couldn’t drop my post.

    • #109459
      "trek7k" wrote

      Unlike Geoff, I don’t have a mechanical engineering degree but this idea of a higher rear axle is a new one to me. The rear axle is definitely higher on a 29er but isn’t the front axle higher by the same amount? Now, if we’re talking about a 96er with a 29er wheel in the back, 26er up front (or 69er – not sure what the proper term is) I can see how this would keep the front wheel down for climbs. But somehow I imagine it’s more complicated than that…

      I do have an engineering degree, and think Geoff is a little off base. Axle height isn’t really important concerning your weight distribution between the wheels. Contact patches are what matter.

      He can keep a more relaxed position because of the longer chainstays. Moving the rear wheel backwards is effectively moving his center of gravity forward when on a hill, so he can sit more upright and not have to lean forward.

      Picture it in your head…a rider seated going up an incline. As the rear wheel moves backwards, the rider is more centered between the tire’s contact patches, and has more weight on the front wheel. Of course too far back, and there’s not enough weight on the rear wheel to keep traction, but when the trail is steep you’re more worried about keeping the front end planted.

      EDIT: hill climb dirt bikes (motorcycles) have long rear ends for the same reason.

    • #109460
      "maddslacker" wrote

      [quote="CraigCreekRider":21d9oodr]I was "forced" to borrow my bud’s HiFi 29er for a 20ish mile ride.

      That was the first 29er I ever threw a leg over and I hated it. Before you take the plunge, ride a bunch of different models and see what you like.[/quote:21d9oodr]

      Will do maddslacker. Been a Santa Cruz guy for a while so thinking I would probably like the Tall Boy.

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