It is no secret I am hot and heavy in the market for a new bike. It is also a given that this bike will have big wheels. I have my eye on something like this-
I spoke with an old friend yesterday, who just secured the purchase of a new bike as well, pictured below. In one elegant leap, he is committing to all of the innovations he can combine into one bike- carbon fiber, full suspension, 29’er. It might as well be belt-driven. My goals are more modest, but we both acknowledged that moving to a big wheel bike is a recognition that we are entering a new era of riding. Nobody mentioned getting older or growing up, but there it was, malingering in the fiber optics along the thousands of miles between us. I felt a kinship, two maturing riders transitioning gracefully into the Master’s class.
Then he told me he underwent a certain procedure that sterilized his reproductive system. Hmmmmm? Was that required with the purchase of the 29’er? Are the two things related?
At what point did big wheels and old dudes start becoming synonymous? Even the young, hip, Euro-trash are recognizing that they have benefits, and are running them on the World Cup mtb scene.
(And, that bike at the bottom is in my top 3 for next frame purchase.)
Don’t let ’em cut ya!
Guess I need to spend some time on one to see what the hype is all about. Not quite ready to drink the Kool Aid. I could see how they might be fun on open, fast, flowy stuff. Just not convinced they are the best option for the tight, technical stuff. If the world was my oyster..I’d have one of each.
I’ve heard that if you do a lot of riding, the surgical procedure becomes superfluous.
I’m going the other way. I’m gonna have JC lace up a pair of twenties for me.
If you love the feeling of *rolling* then big wheels will bite you in the butt. I rode both those bikes at the SC demo day at CBO. For me, the Highball was very responsive and climbed like a goat..but it was very stiff and rigid, not the bike to race down the rocks at speed chasing your buds. The Tallboy felt very similar ride wise to my own 26″ wheeled Blur LT but with a little more gyro. Neither of the demo bikes had very good wheels so what can you tell from that? Good light wheels make a big difference IMO. so what did I do? Kept my 26″ LT and bought a Ti 29er hardtail. I ride it 90% of the time. I can get pretty racy on the rocky down if I’m feeling loose. All around? It’s what I crave. When I go to Moab I’ll take ’em both.
Consider getting the one you love. You held out for the woman, now hold out for the bike. 😉
I’ve ridden 29 for five years and love it. Had some rental 26 since drinking the cool aid and they don’t roll like I want; 29 rolls over everything and I *never* encounter technical stuff that I can’t to as good or better than the next guy.
Thanks, lots of perspectives here. All I am hearing is what lopo says. I think I need to revisit the Retrotec catalog.
Inglis is building the Retrotec line, now. Beautiful bikes, still. And he’ll build you one around big wheels. That would definitely be a dream bike of mine.