Category Archives: 29′r
The Festka Hunter 29r with Gates Carbon Belt Drive
lesnik5

I love what Festka is doing. They have been cranking out some gorgeous bikes with incredible finishes over the past few months, the latest being the Festka Hunter 29′r hardtail. Gates carbon belt drive, a Rohloff hub and Columbus tubing. Not bad! Make sure you follow @Festka on Instagram for daily photos and see more of this Festka Hunter below!

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Apr 4, 2014 6 comments
e r t z u i ° film – Crema Cycles Static Rigid 29′r
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Joe Wignall and Ken Bloomer, from Crema Cycles attended the Berliner Fahrrad Schau last week where they showed their new Static rigid 29′r shred sled in this limited edition configuration.

It features ENVE’s new MTB fork and a custom made carbon seat tube. The frame was built by Alchemy in Denver, especially for Crema Cycles and they will be offering 10 of these framesets (frame, fork, headset and seatpost). Each frame comes in a nice coat of custom paint and the Static is slated to be released later this summer.

Price is to be determined.

Props to the boys at e r t z u i ° film for the photos! See more in the Gallery!

Mar 25, 2014 17 comments
2014 NAHBS: 44 Bikes Murdered Out Rigid SS 29′r
2014 NAHBS: 44 Bikes Murdered Out Rigid SS 29'r

This NAHBS I learned two things about 44 Bikes. The first being Kris and I are the exact same size – which comes in handy for any planned trips to New Hampshire I might have to make. Second, Kris doesn’t build anything that he can’t or wouldn’t ride himself. Although, I suppose if someone really wanted a road bike, he’d make an exception.

Regionally, the roads surrounding Kris’ shop and home are quite shitty. Rutted, washboarded, washed-out and rocky, the tracks and trails take quite the beating throughout the winter, so his bikes are tailored to this terrain. For NAHBS this year, Kris brought all three of his own bikes to show off, because, well. It just makes sense.

Here’s the show favorite from his booth: a murdered out singlespeed 29′r with a nice, fat Whisky Parts fork, Industry 9 wheels and a rear end so tight that it’d be hard to… No, wait, it’s so black metal that… Anyway, I digress.

Check out more in the Gallery!

Mar 17, 2014 14 comments
2014 NAHBS: Hometown Manufacturing Hardtail 29r MTB
2014 NAHBS: Hometown Manufacturing Hardtail 29r MTB

Aaron from Six-Eleven brought some incredible builds with him this year to NAHBS. Some of which fall under his new in-house line of production tig welded frames. Since fillet-brazed and lugged frames often take a lot of time to produce, and cost more, he wanted to offer his friends, local racers and essentially, impatient people a quick and easy option.

Hometown Manufacturing is just that. A quick and easy alternative to lugged or fillet brazed frames. These bikes are all OX Platinum, no nonsense machines ready to be raced or just plain out thrashed.

Inspired by his old Stumpjumper from his youth, this hardtail 29′r is a throwback to steel MTBs of the late 80′s and early 90′s. It’s a straight forward 1-tack machine, complete with Yoke is Easy cranks, machined in the USA. Before Aaron takes it into the woods however, he’ll be tossing a Paul chain keeper on there… My favorite detail however is the hand-painted head tube and downtube logo, done by Richmond’s Sure Hand Signs.

See more in the Gallery!

Mar 14, 2014 15 comments
A-Train Cycles: Chad’s Monster Cross

Usually when a reader forwards me a bike, I have no idea what to expect but this time, I was immediately in awe. This A-Train Cycles monster cross has flowy singletrack written all over it. With those TRP hydro disc brakes I love so much and a big, fat tire for the contact patch, I betcha it rips! Not to mention that seat tube cluster and paint.

See more at A-Train Cycles.

Jan 29, 2014 17 comments
Lyle and His Santa Cruz Tallboy LTC
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In the world of high-end, performance mountain bikes, Santa Cruz wears a crown. Maybe not as a ruler of all, but most certainly the world of the 29′r. When the Tallboy was first released, it was widely praised as the first 29′r that actually exceeded expectations.

I’m not a jealous person, but I must say, Lyle’s Tallboy LTC is one balleur bicycle. With a component list like Chris King, SRAM XX1, Rock Shox 150mm Pike and even that stubby Thomson MTB stem, this bike has seen it all. Well, as far as the Trans-Provence, Swiss Alps, Chamonix and riding in Åre, Sweden for the whole summer shooting the Acre line is concerned. The dude and this bike are living the dream.

After quite a few emails, requesting detail shots of this bike, I took a few minutes to shoot some photos prior to our ride in Glarus… Check out more in the Gallery!

Sep 4, 2013 8 comments
Fun with a Half Fat: a Review of the Surly Krampus 29+ MTB
As you would expect, the Krampus embodies the essence of Surly construction.

Since first seeing the PR on this bike, I had to get my hands on one. Preferably, on my home turf in Austin for some comparison to my IF 29′r. I wanted to know if the extra “fat” would really make that much of a difference.

Before getting into the details, let’s talk about the concept of the bike. While it’s no Moonlander or Pugsley, the Krampus is still fatter than most 29′rs on the market. Its stance is aggressively increased by the 29 x 3˝ Knard tires, mounted 50mm Rabbit Hole rims. The general positioning of the bike looks more aggressive than Surly’s other offerings with that rear end too.

Surly isn’t really a company known for “racing bikes”, so don’t be confused. The Krampus handles singletrack, rock gardens, somewhat technical conditions like most rigids out there but the extra beef of the tires absorbs more of the jarring moments you’ll find on the above conditions.

I’ve been riding the absolute shit out of my IF 29′r, which is also rigid, on 2.25″ tires and I could tell a difference the extra beef made. It’s still a rigid bike, so you’ll be taking different lines than if you were on a full susp but don’t downplay the fun you can have. Or the workout…

The weight of this thing, stock, is not light. Surly doesn’t list the weight and if I recall correctly, a large weighed in close to 30 pounds. Eeeesh. But, as I said, it’s a rare bird and that weight can be drastically reduced by converting it to tubeless (it can be done with Gorilla tape), swapping the saddle, seatpost and bar / stem. If you’re smart, you can easily bring it down 5 lbs or so.

Not that a weight weenie will buy one of these bikes. After a quick spin at Lebanon in Minneapolis, both Kyle and I were feeling the weight. The bike descended amazingly, cornered and floated around turns and actually hopped up and over obstacles quite easily. On berms it was a beast and most rock gardens were mere appetizers. But the second you started climbing. Oh boy… you felt it.

So what? It’s a fun bike, that tends to get a bit heavy when you’re sticking it to a lot of short, punchy climbs but that’s not where the Krampus reigns supreme. We had a blast tearing through the River Bottoms in Minneapolis. It wheelies very easily, zips through sand, mud and whatever else you can toss at it. I didn’t even notice the weight of the bike, until I got it up to speed. It’s like a bush bowling ball.

Would I buy one? Sure thing! But if I did, I feel like my IF would be obsolete. I don’t really need another rigid 29′r right now… right? N+1?

My advice would be, if you’ve never ridden a MTB and want something for your local trails, I dare you to try out a Krampus. You might just be happy with it. Check out all the tech info you want to know at Surly.

Check out more photos and thoughts in the Gallery and decide for yourself.

Aug 26, 2013 11 comments
A Brooklyn Machine Works 29′r Hardtail?
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I swung by Brooklyn Machine Works yesterday to see what Joe had been up to when he greeted me with two new BMW models: a 29′r and a 650B hardtail MTB. Both are made in the USA, right in Brooklyn, are helllllla affordable (under $800 for the frame) and are made from True Temper Supertherm. They’re within 9oz of each other’s weight, mostly because the 650B has a tapered head tube but they’re pretty light! Here’s a really simple photo of the ‘niner and I’ll be returning today to do a more in-depth story on the bike.

The first run sold out before anyone even knew about them (myself included) but I’ll definitely be picking one of these up when the next run is done!

Jul 30, 2013 11 comments
Ty’s Stinner Ride the Divide Rohloff 29′r
Beautiful Bicycle: Ty's Stinner Ride the Divide Rohloff 29'r

Ride the Divide is one of the most difficult MTB endurance races in the continental US, so when Ty from Golden Saddle Cyclery decided that he was going to participate, he looked to Santa Barbara’s Stinner Frameworks to design a no nonsense 29′r. Utilizing a Rohloff Speedhub 14-speed internal belt drive, this bike will require zero maintenance for the extent of the ride. Tubeless wheels, XTR hydraulic disc brakes, SON hub, E3 lamp and Thomson Ti bars add just amount of show-worthiness to the bike. We rode our new mountain bikes yesterday and I am beyond pumped for Ty. This is one sick ride!

Feb 26, 2013 19 comments