Jul 12, 2007

Michaux #2: 26er death: Life without Ergon

Lookie there. I'm on the front page of the Race Michaux web site. Sunday is the 2nd of the three Michaux series races. Eatough and I'll be going at it again. As well as Brandon Dragaulis and other company. E. is fresh off a 7day stage race and my altitude training could shake things up.

I went and pre-rode the other day and flopped around on the ground a couple of times, lost my glasses, sprained a wrist and got a little tubeless tire patching practice in.
My 26er is the bad step child. Unpredictable and misbehaving.
After coming back from CO, I didn't have the 29er so I put last years small wheeled bike together. This was a perfect opportunity to make a judgement on the 29 V 26er debate. I have been on the big wheeled bike since April 19th and the 26er was disassembled collecting dust.
So not only did I get the tiny bike together I also left it without Ergon grips.
I took the old Steele deluxe to NY for the Darkhorse gallop, and then it went with me to pre-ride Michaux.
Hands down the 29er is my bike of choice. I remember when I first threw a leg over it everything clicked besides a little getting used to timing for hopping logs. And that was my first big wheeled bike.
Now going back to the 26in wheel has been a harder transition. It might be a little quicker on the climbs (I can't prove it) but overall it feels so squirmy and unstable. In Michaux the smaller wheels felt like they were catching on every rock, root and pine cone. There might be some disadvantages to a poorly designed 29er, but a well crafted one, rises high above.
The amount of control and smoothness of the ride would serve anyone of any size well. Maybe the 26in wheel has it's advantages in racing situations, but I think they should be sent to the world of racing dorks. For me I'll race the big bike. It's more comfortable, smoother and just more fun to ride.
And until I went without them I didn't realize how much stability and control the Ergon grips provided me. Again I'll never go back.