Bikes (The One I Don't Have)
How does a man who is pretty much obsessed with cycling in one way or another fill his spare time when he can not really ride (yet)? Well, first that man (me) worries that this DVT thing is just the beginning of not being able to ride and race mountain bikes as freely as I did the same way again. BUT after I realized I'm putting a cart load of cow dung before the horse, I sit back and think of bikes. I have and itch for a new ride. Road bikes need not apply. I have a great road bike. It gets the job done and is pretty easy on the eyes to boot. Nope, it's gotta be a mountain bike.
I flirted with the idea of going with a custom steel frame not long ago. I really had it in my mind I wanted a Walt Works 29er. Geared, regular bottom bracket, with 100mm Fox up front. But then I realized that if I wanted to go steel, it might be a good idea to see if I dig the feel of steel first. So of course I think I would go right for the El Mariachi. Looks damn sweet, has the EXACT geometry I want and is damn spanky looking. BUT I HAVE a hard tail in the form of my sexy carbon assed Mamasita. I've come to realize that I dig the geometry of my Dos Niner (which shares geometry with the El M), more than the quick handling Mamasita. BUT scandium/carbon is lighter and is less prone to rust than steel and it has no EBB. So the Mamasita beats the EM on that one. I have enough maintenance problems without worrying about a creaking EBB or slippage.
I got rid of my El Santo because I wanted a 29er hard tail. I missed the "feel" of the trail you get from a hard tail. But "feel for the trail" can also transfer into a sore freaking back after hours in the saddle. Now my back and my mind is sort of lusting full suspension again. The Dos Niner is my favorite bike and my "go to" bike for about every type of racing and riding I do. I'd love to have a Titanium Dos Niner. Why Ti? I would prefer Ti for a few reasons. The feel of Ti combined with a 1" shock, 29" wheels, and the geometry that I dig with the Dos Niner would be the TITS! A simple to set up, low maintenance shock, durable frame material, corrosion resistant. and sexy. BUT from what I can see there are not too many folks making Ti soft tails these days and the ones that are around (Moots) are DAMN pricey. I love bikes, but I'm not willing to sell a kidney for one. Yet.
I'm digging the idea of the Big Mama. My reservation with the Big Mama would be- Is it too much bike for me? I would have loved to have had one at Seven Springs this year. Other than the big climb, the Big Mama would have kicked ass on that course. Same with Big Bear. BUT most of my local riding would not call for such suspension. The big loops I've been doing on the mountain would not really have a need for it. PARTS of the trails would and my body would really crave one on Solo efforts. Leaving the Dos Niner for big loop races and hundies. Not to mention it's price compared with some other FS rigs is pretty damn nice.
Other than soft tails there just has not been any full suspension 29ers to get my attention. The Big Mama, the Titus Racer X29er, and the Pivot 429 are really the the only 29" FS bikes that have got my attention. I REALLY thought this would have been the year that Cannondale would release a Scalpel 29er. That would have rocked! I've always lusted the Scalpel (maybe the only 26" bike I would ride again) and one in 29" form would be about exactly what I'm looking for. Instead they threw some crap paint and cheezy decals one the 2009 F-29. I like the idea of XC type full suspension with a 29er. That's why I love my Dos Niner. 1 inch feels like a lot more with the 29" wheels. I think that's why the Racer X sort of speaks to me. 3" of travel with 29" wheels would be about JUST right. I just don't know why Titus seems to invest in updates in the 26" version, but really just keeps the 29er the same old same old. Not sure why.
I want/need full suspension in the future. BUT I want to be able to race it anywhere, not just 12 or 24 Solos. Not sure how many of those races I have left in me (back, blood clots, etc., etc.,) But I know I plan on doing long races and hundies. I want a bike that can race comfortable and efficiently in XC, Marathons, Hundies, Solos etc., I guess for now the Dos Niner will continue to fit that bill and who know having a Big Mama around for the gnarlier races might the way to go.
I guess there are some other 29er FS bikes that might be close to what I'm looking at. Niner, Fisher, etc, make some, but no sure I'm digging that vibe. Anyone know any FS 29ers or soft tails that sort of fit this bill? Sot of half way between a Dos Niner and Big Mama. Not sure I see one out there, but it's fun looking, since I'm not riding!
I hope no one wasted their time reading me blather on about bikes. I just needed to let some bike stuff out.