Thursday, November 29, 2007

26er vs. 29er

Four times in the last week and a half I've tried to compose a post comparing my two bikes but I just can't seem to get the job done. As far as I'm concerned the bike serve two completely different purposes making for an unfair comparison.

Anyway, I guess I can at least give my impressions how the new bike rides. For the first half of my Sedona break-in ride I had a hell of a time climbing on the El M. Mid-ride I had a revelation about my riding style and started treating the new bike like a SS. I picked a decent middle gear and everything just clicked into place. It was like night and day, I could climb again. For easier climbs I picked a slightly harder gear and vice-versa. The bike climbs and descends very well, large obstacles were handled with relative ease.

It didn't feel quite as snappy as my other bike nor did it really handle switchbacks as well, of course this can be attributed to my level of familiarity. The whole low speed handling is kind of interesting to me because the El M felt quite balanced during the first turns around the parking lot. The bike formerly known as Unit has been slacked out by the 100mm fork and feels a little sluggish just riding around but quite nimble when push comes to shove and the El M was just the opposite.

The last thing that really struck me about the new bike was the amount of flex in the rigid fork. I've ridden many a rigid mountain bike but never one with a fairly light and intentionally flexy fork. I never felt that the flex was a detriment and didn't notice it at all in relation to steering.

I've still got some cable to shorten and grips to swap and the bike will be all ready for some riding this weekend.

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