That was different! It was the first time I have ever ridin a 29er, so with that thought in my head I hit the trails! Everybody's favorite park "Beatty" provided the test facility. I intentionally didn't put a computer on yet because I want to get used to the bike before I make any judgements.
First judgement: Damn is seems like a big bike!
Second: I haven't ridin a hard tail in years!
Third: I can already tell it hooks up better than a 26in!
Forth: I got to cut down the bars! Way to wide!
Two laps in the day light one in the dark. I am getting used to riding by myself at night so I wasn't looking back behind me the whole time. That made a difference, I did hit one tree but it was still day light. I did cheat and look at the clock before I left the parking lot so I would have some ideal of my time.
My first observation was the size of the bike, it seemed a lot bigger than my full squish 26. I wondered how it would turn once I got to the black diamond section. Within a mile I had my answer! These bikes have been around for several years now so of course they have the bugs worked out. The geometry is spot on! It turns as sharp as any bike I have ever ridin!
Again, I haven't ridin a hard tail in years. It takes a different style of riding, you have to remember to kinda hover on the seat when it gets rough! You tend to get a little lazy on a full squish and I have been riding one for several years. Hence I am lazy......
As far as hooking up, Beatty gets a lot of sand build up in the turns and Sunday when I was there I was sliding a little bit. Last night on the 29er it was yank the bars and hang on. It hooks up plain and simple! That was a pleasant surprise! That brings us to the bars? My 26 has bars that are 25 and a quarter inch wide. The new bike has bars 27 inches wide! Two inches wider and that's a lot!!! Once I cut them down it will be spot on.......
Verdict: I like the bike and the ride, if I can make it happen I will be in the woods today. Oh, don't know the exact time per lap but I rode 3 laps in a little less than a hour and a half. That would put me at my usual pace, funny thing is I felt a lot slower and didn't seem to work as hard at it.....Hum????