Last weekend was the annual mountain bike gathering that is ‘Mountain Mayhem’. We went along with an EZ up, a fleet of bikes, a whole load of catalogues and had ourselves a nice little display at the event. About a fortnight before the event I decided I'd quite like to race it solo, not as a way of completely beasting myself (which I’ve done before! Dark times!), but more a good way to get lots of test mileage into the rigid 29er prototype on the sort of terrain where big wheels should excel.
Mayhem is a funny one, people tend to either love it or hate it. I think if you’ve ridden it then all you tend to remember are the long grassy draggy climbs, but there are some nice sections of flowy singletrack and more importantly there’s no event like it for bringing together mountain bikers from all walks of life, brave first timers riding against the likes of Nick Craig and Liam Kileen.
While I was out riding Big Chris (Park tools and Elite brad manager) was kindly manning the Genesis stand for me and also acting as my spanner in the pits. A massive thanks to Chris for all his help over the weekend and for driving me home in my van when I was too dopey. Here’s the man himself patrolling the stand:
So, to the 29er! Well I’m pleased to say it rode like a dream. Designed around a 445mm rigid fork and with quite a slack geometry, it gives a nice low front end (well, not silly high like some 29ers) and good stable handling. It absolutely flew through the swoopy singletrack and it felt great. The only time I felt compromised was on the heavily rutted grassy descents where riding any fully rigid bike was going to shake your teeth out. Some tweaking of cable routing and fine tuning of some other details and it will be ready to go. It is likely we’ll offer 3 builds, a nice clean singlespeed, an Alfine 11 geared option and a drop barred expedition style set up. More details to follow in the coming months. In the meantime here are a few pics of the protoype:
Gears can be nice (sometimes!), a lap on the Latitude Ti: