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Anyone Follow the Pros?

Aggie_Ama2011-11-01 14:12:38 +0000 #1
The World Championships were today and Jaroslav Kulhavy of the Czech Republic raced to the win on a 29er Full Suspension!

One of my teammated has the full suspension S-Works Kulhavy rode to win, it is a 21 pound full suspension. He said he finds it to be a great race bike because the FS will minimize fatigue. My teammate will race the S-Works hardtail on some courses though because they aren't rocky or technical and there is no need for the extra weight or more parts to break.

My husband's S-Works hardtail with pedals, heavier tires (to minimize risks of sidewall tears), tubeless and 19" frame is 20.5 lbs. Todd Wells rides the same bike with lighter tires and uses lighter pedals but it is an XL 20" and his is reported at 19 pounds.

It absolutely amazes me they can make the FS 29er not much heavier than the HT, I mean yes two pounds is a lot but it used to be seven or eight pounds. In Texas FS is beginning to become more common on the racing scene as they get lighter. We race in rocky conditions, no sustained climbs where a two pound weight penalty is really going to become an issue.

I can say 29er FS is a the ultimate cheater bike. You can float through rock gardens, take crummy lines on descents and the bike corrects it. I noticed on a 26er FS you had more room for error on descents as well but add the big wheels and you up it more. I do think the 29er HT is the most fun I have had on a hardtail by far. You feel like you're riding a sports car, they just want to go! My Epic is a race bike so it does have a snappier feeling than my old 5" travel trail bike but still isn't like the HT I tried. If I had money for both I would add a HT to the stable for our "roadie" course races but since I could only have one I went FS.

It will be interesting to watch how many European pros switch to 29er as many on the world cup circuit are just now embracing them. It will also be interesting to see if some want to try the FS.

kimikaw2011-11-01 14:24:22 +0000 #2
I've started keeping an eye on what pros ride. Not that I'll ever race, or have pro $$ bikes, but like you find it fascinating to watch the design/technology evolution.

Ironically we got my 12yo 5'0" kiddo's bike (a nearly new 15.5" 2011 Spec Hardrock 29er sport disc) because a women had bought it to race from one shop, didn't like and traded in at another. The shop owner made the comment, "she discovered 29ers just aren't for racing".


This was a week or so after I'd started seeing mentions of that new Spec WSD 29er HT (Fate?) on the podium. Since then Rebecca Rousch wins Leadville on it.

I do find it interesting that they are also getting full suspensions down in weight to make them good, viable options for racing. Something to keep watching, as that technology flows down to mass market. I'm currently thrilled with my 29er HT...but could see if I keep riding as I am, in a year or two adding a 29er FS to the stable!



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