2nd ride out on my new bike today... it's got 29" wheels, gears inside the hub and bouncy forks. I kinda like it.
Freezing cold day in the snow, but my my how pretty the trails looked.
Bike build: Classifieds special
Reba 100mm forks
60mm on-one stem and 725mm Nukeproof flat bars.
Built this up as a means to try a bunch of things... first time on hub gears, 29" wheels and tubeless tyres. All a resounding success.
The Alfine - running 32/20 cogs; seems to be just the job for a winter bike. Struggled a couple of times in the cold when the gear cable froze and I had to bounce the rear wheel a little to free it while riding. I could do with 1 lower gear on the steep stuff, but aside from that it seems great. Yes, it's a bunch of weight right at the back of the bike, but I can't say I really notice that much once riding. Gaps between gears are noticeable, but not annoying. For a winter bike or a commuter, I'm converted.
The tubeless - Bonty mustang front rim, with ghetto home-made rim strip. Stans flow rear rim, with yellow tape. Bonty mud-x TLR tyres front n rear.
Front ghetto setup took a bit of inflating, but seems to be holding well after 2 weeks. Rear Stans rim setup was super straight forward. Very impressed. Bonty mud-x tyres are awesome. Prob buying a set for the 26" (now fair weather) bike too.
The big wheels - I missed out on a lot of riding last winter due to the conditions being so bad and just felt uninspiring driving somewhere to go and ride fire road and trash my nice bike with the weather. I've since moved to Innerleithen and have great trails and countryside on my doorstep and figured I want to try and get out no matter what the weather is doing this winter. Hub gear seemed an obvious choice, but I also wanted something that could just keep on rolling if I ended up doing a 3 hour fire road blast.
It really does roll. I've heard some people say it's like having a bit of suspension... but it's not, well not exactly. It's not as comfy and doesn't track as well as my 100mm travel SC Superlight, but it does just keep on rolling over bumps like it's got a bit of bounce to it. You never get that 'oof, stop' feeling when you hit a fair sized root or rock like you do on a 26" bike. Basically it keeps it's momentum better. It also feels surprisingly nimble in tight, twisty single track... while somehow feeling more stable at the same time. It sort of turns when you tell it too, but only when you tell it too. I like the wide bars and short stem setup to help with this - though may lengthen the stem to a 70mm (I had a spare 60mm in the garage).
Overall, I'm liking it and, given this weekends weather, really glad I've built it up. Hoping to get lots more use of it through this season... will most likely see me through the Strathpuffer in January too.