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manly dam on 29er

badchef's picture

By badchef - Posted on 11 January 2014

NB: Originally posted elsewhere on the Global Riders Network and appears via syndication.

i was recently in sydney and decided to hire a bike and ride manly dam, to my dissapointment the lbs told me they only had a 29er, this will be a waste of money i thought, but may as well give it a go...
THE TRAIL:after checking google maps i headed off from the lbs and after 15 minutes of easy riding i found the Primary School and hit the trail, it was singletrack mixed with a bit of fire road and the odd detour along bitomen streets to find the singletrack again, signage was poor once off the trail but with the help of a few friendly locals i found my way around easy enough, the trail wasn't as techy as our local kal trails, fairly straight foward xc , wheels to the ground stuff, no ttf or jumps, but this suited me fine as i could just cruise and enjoy it, apart from frequent sharp rocks nothing really to catch you out, is was just easy fun trails, a couple of big fireroad climbs and descents, mixed in with singletrack, pinches of up and down, i think the total distance was around 10-11kms.
THE BIKE:2014 TREK FUEL EX8 29er, well i had my doubts,i thought this thing would handle like a pig, i've only ever ridden long travel 26 inch duallies, was i my suprise it went really well and suited the trail perfectly, i found the bike turned predictably,was stable at speed,descended ok ,climbed ok(not as well as some people make out), took the rough stuff in its stride, and generally handled confidently on the trail( man was i surprised, i was actually having fun on a 29er)
All in all a fun day on a fun bike, definately do it again when next in Sydney

badchef's picture

the bike was one size too big , i think it was 19.5 inch, im 17.5 on my remeedy, the seat was too high at its lowest point, i had flats with bugger all grip(rounded pins),i always ride clipped in, the stem was too long and low and inverted, the bars too narrow and the seat too far foward of the cranks, it should have been the ride from hell , but despite all this it still handled pretty well, and i managed to smoke 2 locals on the first lap on the descents(stopping at the bottom for them of course), a proper fitting 29er could have been a real weapon , the only real negatives of this bike was i couldnt get the front end up for manualling and doing ledge drops, although bunny hops were easy and jumping(and pre jumping water bars ) was pretty easy, i guess 29ers arent that bad after all

hawkeye's picture

The longer rear makes lofting the front a bit harder, I find I need to plan ahead and wind up a lot earlier.

I'm really enjoying my Scalpel a lot.

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