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Thursday, 23 June 2016

Biting the 29'er bullet

Most of my riding recently has been road bike stylee but, historically I loved a bit of filth and rough stuff so have done a few miles on a mountain bike. Until I got the job at the bike shop, all mountain biking was done on a 26 inch wheeled steed, including the years I spent doing bike patrol when I was a police officer.

The main brand we sell at the shop is Trek and Trek have gone for the large wheel format in a big way. In fact, most of their off road fleet is now 27.5" or 29" depending on frame size or discipline. As a result, I have had the chance to test ride a few bikes and have got to say, a 29'er makes a lot of sense. The larger diameter wheel gets up to speed faster on tarmac and holds it's speed much better. It also makes for faster and slightly smoother off road riding. This is because the wheel, being bigger, deals with roots and rocks at a shallower angle than the smaller 26" wheel. It also doesn't drop as far into potholes or steps when descending.

Recently an opportunity came up for me to get a 29'er of my own so I took it and acquired a 2013 Trek Stache 8-

Here it is in all it's dirty glory. This is a 17 1/2" framed version and is equipped with Shimano SLX 10 X 2 gearing. I went for the 17 1/2" as the bigger wheel made the reach on a 19" just a little uncomfortable for me.

My bike is equipped with a Rock Shox Reverb dropper post-

This allows me to lower the saddle when required without stopping and dismounting. It operates on a hydraulic system and is activated from a push button on the bars-

A very funky bit of kit which gets used a lot. The ability to get the saddle out of the way when negotiating something a bit technical or sphincter puckering is a bit of a treat.

All in all I am very pleased with the Stache though it does get me into trouble. Often when I use it to commute too and from my day job, I find myself spying tracks, paths and bridleways and thinking to myself "I wonder where that goes?" That way my friends, lies being late for work and dinner being in the dog.....

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